Suffolk prosecutors: Bellport man gets 16 years in prison for sexual assault
A Bellport man was sentenced Monday in Riverhead to 16 years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman in June 2019, leaving her unconscious in the backyard of a home in North Bellport, Suffolk County prosecutors said.
Edward Bell, 40, pleaded guilty in January to first-degree aggravated sexual abuse.
"No amount of punishment will ever erase the horrific trauma that this victim and her family had to endure but at the very least, they can breathe a sigh of relief now that this defendant has received a significant jail sentence," said Suffolk District Attorney Raymond Tierney. "The defendant will now have to account for his crime in prison and will be required to register as a sexual offender upon his release."
In addition to his prison term, Bell was sentenced to five years of post-release supervision.
John LoTurco, Bell's Garden City-based defense attorney, said his client and the victim met and smoked marijuana laced with PCP together.
The victim, he said, has no memory of what happened during the assault but Bell's DNA was found on a stick used during the crime.
There are also video images of Bell and the victim in a convenience store and walking off into the woods together the evening of the crime, LoTurco said.
"This was a complex matter with a myriad of issues including serious drug impairment by both the complainant and our client which we believe may have been a significant contributing factor of our client's aberrant behavior," LoTurco said. "The crime is completely inconsistent with Mr. Bell's otherwise model life in that he is a 40-year-old man with no prior criminal history."
Suffolk police officers found the victim in the early morning hours of June 29, 2019, lying on the ground covered in blood in the backyard of a home in North Bellport, according to court filings and statements by Bell at the guilty plea proceeding.
When police canvassed the area, they found Bell walking down the street with blood on his body and clothes, authorities said.
Bell admitted as part of his plea that he had sexually assaulted the victim with a foreign object, prosecutors said.
The victim had to be placed in a medically-induced coma while she was treated for her injuries, police said.
During the sentencing, the victim told the court she suffers from anxiety as a result of the assault, adding that her children had to witness her recover physically and emotionally from the impact of the violent crime.