A 63-year-old Coram man has been indicted — and ordered held without bail — after authorities alleged that he raped a woman he'd met while the two were patients at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson.
The Suffolk County district attorney's office said Rupert Cruz befriended the 32-year-old victim while the two were patients, then offered her a ride home from St. Charles, at which time he attacked her, strangled her and dumped her naked in a park in Middle Island. She survived the attack.
"This defendant allegedly preyed on the victim in order to violate her," Suffolk District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney said in a statement Friday. "We will pursue justice for the victim by making sure her alleged attacker is held responsible and taken off the streets so he can no longer harm others."
Arraigned on an indictment Thursday before Suffolk County Court Judge Karen M. Wilutis, Cruz is charged with first-degree predatory sexual assault, first-degree rape, first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree strangulation. He is represented by a Legal Aid attorney.
Wilutis ordered Cruz be remanded. His next court date is Oct. 4.
Authorities said that after befriending the victim at St. Charles in June, the woman accepted Cruz' offer to drive her home from the hospital.
After the victim got into Cruz' vehicle, the district attorney's office said, Cruz gave her a drink "from an opened soda can" and, while he was driving, "began making sexual advances" that she rejected.
According to the account released by Tierney's office, "The victim's friend called her during the time she was struggling with the defendant, and she could allegedly hear the victim screaming for help before the victim's cell phone fell between the seats of the vehicle."
Authorities said Cruz then sexually assaulted the victim, and she woke the following morning naked in a wooded area at Bartlett Pond Park in Middle Island.
"The victim was in pain, with scratches and bruises on her body, red marks on her neck, and broken blood vessels in her eye," the district attorney's statement said. "The victim then located a few items of her clothing and left the park."
On June 15, the victim used a device finder to locate her cellphone in Cruz' vehicle, tracking it to his Coram residence. She reported the alleged assault to police, who arrested Cruz on Sept. 8.