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3rd suspect arrested in attempted murder

Almost a year after a brutal attack that saw a 46-year-old woman beaten, raped and left for dead, tied up and with a plastic bag over her head in a wooded area of Roosevelt, police have announced the arrest of a third suspect responsible.

Kasim L. Taylor, 45, of 62 Prospect St., Roosevelt, was arrested late Wednesday afternoon by detectives from the Nassau County police Special Victims Squad on charges of attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree robbery and first-degree assault.

It was not clear what led police to arrest Taylor.

Taylor faces arraignment in First District Court in Hempstead on Thursday -- the same day the two other defendants in the case, Kenneth Bass and Julia Lopez, are scheduled for lawyer conferences with Judge William C. Donnino.

Bass, 54, and Lopez, 38, both of Roosevelt, have been remanded to the Nassau County jail since being arrested on May 15. Both also face a litany of charges, including: attempted murder, second-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sexual act, first-degree assault and fifth-degree and seventh-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Police and prosecutors said that on the afternoon of May 5 the victim, identified only as a then-46-year-old woman, was driven by a male friend to a home where Bass and Lopez were living on Brookside Drive in Roosevelt. The male friend, who police said was not involved, left the scene -- but was later arrested on a stolen-car charge. The outcome of that case was not available.

Prosecutors said an argument erupted over crack. Police said the argument occurred when Lopez and Bass told the victim she owed them money -- and the woman told them she had none.

According to authorities, the trio then "severely beat" the woman, breaking bones in her face, including an eye socket. The woman also had a loss of feeling in her hands and feet, suffered partial loss of vision, and a lip laceration that required 17 stitches to close.

She was unable to be interviewed for seven days after the attack, police said, because of the severity of her injuries.

After the beating, police and prosecutors said Bass raped the woman, as Lopez and the third suspect, now identified as Taylor, held her down and forced her to perform a sex act. They then stole her handbag and a cellphone, police said. At one point, according to court papers, the victim heard one of the attackers say: "We have to kill her."

Authorities said the trio then placed a bag around the woman's head, tied her hands and feet -- and left her in a wooded area behind Henry Street.

The woman somehow managed to get free, then dragged herself about 150 yards to a streetlight, where she screamed for help and was found by a passing motorist, according to police.

Police described the crime as "exceptionally brutal."

With Tania Lopez and Gary Dymski

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