NYC Man Who Raped Woman He Followed Off Bus and Asked for Directions Gets 12 Years

A 27-year-old Long Island City man who followed a woman after she got off an MTA bus and raped her on the night after Valentine's Day in 2019 was sentenced Thursday to 12 years in prison, the Queens district attorney said.

Matthew Luna pleaded guilty to first-degree rape this past January in the attack on the woman near 54th Street and Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside. Prosecutors say Luna first spotted the 20-year-old woman when he got on the bus at some point that Feb. 15 evening and then followed her when she deboarded. 

Moments later, Luna approached her and asked for directions to a nearby subway station. Prosecutors say he kept talking to the woman, telling her she was pretty and asking for a hug. Startled by his request, the victim backed away from him. Luna then grabbed her arms and essentially said, "Just give me what I want so I don’t have to kill you.” according to prosecutors.

He then hit the woman, shoved her against a parked vehicle, ripped off her clothes from the waist down and sexually assaulted her, the charges say. Luna then threw her to the ground and raped her. The woman was taken to a hospital with injuries.

Police circulated Luna's photo on social media and he surrendered three days later. In addition to the prison time, he is subject to 10 years' post-release supervision and must register as a sex offender.

“The defendant has admitted to the sexual attack on this young woman. It was a vicious, violent act that should never happen on our streets," Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz said in a statement. "My office will vigorously prosecute those who violate and victimize others and the sentence imposed today by the Court punishes the defendant for his criminal acts."

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