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Man charged with rape in home invasion

Wiseallah Hightower-Castro, 24, of Starks Place, Lynbrook, is

Wiseallah Hightower-Castro, 24, of Starks Place, Lynbrook, is charged with first-degree rape, committing a criminal sexual act, robbery, burglary, criminal use of a firearm, assault and criminal possession of a weapon. (Jan. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: NCPD

A Lynbrook man has been arrested on charges that he raped a woman during a home invasion and robbery in Hempstead, Nassau County police said.

Wiseallah Hightower-Castro, 24, of Starks Place, is charged with first-degree rape, committing a criminal sexual act, robbery, burglary, criminal use of a firearm, assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

Police said Thursday they still are looking for two other men who joined Hightower-Castro in the home invasion.

Hightower-Castro was ordered held without bail at his arraignment Thursday at First District Court in Hempstead, a spokesman for the district attorney's office said.

Police said Hightower-Castro and two other men forced their way into the Grove Street home at about 11 p.m. Sunday, when a 22-year-old man was visiting his godmother at the address.

The men, wearing masks, were armed, police said. One man had a revolver and two others had knives.

The men, who also wore gloves, went immediately to the second floor, forcing two women, one 44, the other 47, onto the ground, police said.

They ransacked the apartment and tied up the occupants, Det. Lt. Raymond Cote said. One woman suffered a seizure while she was being tied up, and they left her unbound, he said.

The men took a small amount of cash and some cellphones, Cote said. Then they brought the 44-year-old woman, who was not a resident of the house, into a bathroom and sexually assaulted her, Cote said.

The 47-year-old woman, who was the sister of the woman who was assaulted, escaped out a side window, falling to the ground and hurting herself, Cote said. She fled to a neighbor's house and called police, Cote said.

The gunman then took the 22-year-old man to an apartment in the Grove Street house, kicked down the door and robbed its residents, two 50-year-old women, of cellphones and cash, police said.

Shortly after, another visitor, a woman, 49, arrived at the home and also was robbed of her cellphone and cash.

When the assailants realized one of the victims had escaped, they drove off in a black, four-door vehicle, Cote said.

Three women who were in the house at the time were taken to a hospital and treated for nonlife-threatening injuries, Cote said.

Anyone with information on the case can call Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477. All calls will be kept confidential.

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