What to Know
- A man has been sentenced to state prison for sexually terrorizing a Pace University student in September 2018
- He knocked on her door and forced his way in, then started touching himself; thinking quickly, she acted in a way to get him to flee
- When security checked surveillance, they found he had been in another dorm as well -- and other students reported a strange man knocking
A New York City man who knocked on a Pace University student's dorm room, then pushed his way in and sexually terrorized her as she desperately tried to talk her way out of it has been sentenced to state prison, authorities said.
Ariel Caro was sentenced to concurrent terms of 2.5 years in state prison in connection with the Sept. 11, 2018 attack on the student at the Pace campus in Pleasantville. It was around 7:30 p.m. that night when Caro knocked on the student's door. She opened it, expecting someone else and he forced his way in.
Prosecutors say Caro blocked the student's way out and started to masturbate in front of her. She asked him to leave but he kept it up -- and tried to engage her in conversation. Thinking quickly, the student began to repeat a series of expressions, acting, she said, as if she had a form of autism she had seen on television.
As she got louder, Caro ran off, prosecutors say. The student called her mother, who called campus security. When security checked surveillance video, they found Caro had been in another dorm as well -- and other students reported a strange man knocking on their doors. He was not a student and had no reason to be on campus, prosecutors have said.
The victim's impact statement was read aloud in court last week at Caro's sentencing. In it, she described the horror she felt.
"Perhaps one might think that because I was not 'physically injured' -- that perhaps the attack was not so serious–this is not so," she wrote. "This attack was heinous and the attacker in my opinion is a threat to society."
"I wondered whether my life ambition of going to university was misplaced and thought about dropping out of college, but realized that this would only harm me further," she added. "I hope one day I will feel safe again and not so helpless, a feeling I never had before this horrible attack."