A teenager on Long Island accused of breaking into a Mastic Beach home has been arrested and charged with burglary, as well as raping a young mother while her 4-year-old daughter was in the room, authorities said Tuesday.
Authorities are still searching for an accomplice, but Suffolk County District Attorney Ray Tierney on Tuesday announced the indictment of a 14-year-old in what he called a "shocking and extremely disturbing" chain of events that occurred in the afternoon on April 19.
The masked-up teen and another perpetrator allegedly broke into the home of the 23-year-old victim around 3:15 p.m., Tierney said at a news conference. The mother, who was inside a locked bedroom with her child, assumed the noise was her husband returning home.
Not long after the victim heard the noise, the pair broke into the bedroom and the defendant demanded cash while another suspect searched the house for items to steal, according to investigators.
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"While the defendant was alone in the room with the victim and her daughter, the defendant who was armed with a knife began to rape the victim in front of her daughter," Tierney recounted the horrific details to reporters.
The suspect then dragged the mother into the hallway and continued to sexually abuse her. After he was done, Tierney said the teen dragged the victim back into her room where her daughter was hiding. That's when he tried to drag the 4-year-old girl into the hallway, but the mother fought back.
The two struggled into another room where the teen is accused of using his knife to cut the left side of the victim's face, from eyebrow to hairline, Tierney said. He also stabbed her in the chest.
"Despite her ordeal, she's doing well and our thoughts and prayers go out to her," Tierney later said of the victim.
Eventually, the suspect and his accomplice left after stealing some items and police were called to the scene. The victim received staples and stitches to her injuries at Long Island Community Hospital. A sexual assault exam was performed and DNA evidence was collected, authorities said.
Just two days after the terrifying incident, the teen suspect was arrested on unrelated charges and he admitted to burglarizing the Mastic Beach home but denied sexual assault allegations. However, a lab report came back on April 27, indicating that his DNA matched evidence collected following the sexual assault.
Prosecutors then took the case to the grand jury and the 14-year-old was indicted as a juvenile offender with rape, criminal sex act, assaults, burglaries, sex abuse, strangulation and endangering welfare of a child.
The suspect was arraigned without bail on May 3. Both the suspect and the victim were not identified due to the defendant's age and the nature of the case.
Meanwhile, his accomplice remained at large and police did not release other details.