Lynbrook man acquitted on rape, burglary charges

A Nassau jury has acquitted a Lynbrook man on charges that he raped a woman during a home invasion and robbery last year, lawyers said.

Wiseallah Hightower-Castro, 25, of Starks Place, was acquitted of all the charges against him, including first-degree rape, committing a criminal sexual act, robbery, burglary, criminal use of a firearm, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, his lawyer and a spokesman for the Nassau district attorney said.

He has been in the Nassau County jail for a year.

Defense lawyer Joseph Hanshe, of Sayville, told jurors that police had falsified a written confession by his client. Hanshe also said that the victim in the case had failed to properly identify Hightower-Castro as the man who attacked her.

Hightower-Castro was arrested in January 2012 after police said he and two other men forced their way into a Grove Street home while a 22-year-old man was visiting his godmother there.

The other two men were never found.

The men, wearing masks, were armed, police said. They forced two women onto the floor, tied them up and ransacked the apartment, police said.

They took one woman into a bathroom and sexually assaulted her, police said at the time.

They also stole cellphones and cash, police said.

Another woman escaped out a side window, fled to a neighbor's house and called police, officers said.

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