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Trial begins for former fugitive in alleged rape of girl, 14

The trial began Thursday for a man prosecutors said spent years as a fugitive before his extradition from India after he allegedly raped a 14-year-old girl he forced into his Elmont home as she walked to school.

The alleged victim, now 20 and living in Trinidad, cried at times as she testified about the pain she felt on that March 2009 morning when she said Amit Singh sexually assaulted her.

"His force was so much stronger than mine," she told a Mineola jury, adding later: "I couldn't get up."

The witness said Singh then drove her to the nearby high school where she was in ninth grade, warning her, "You better not tell anybody about this."

Jurors will decide whether Singh, 33, is guilty of two rape counts, along with charges of first-degree sexual abuse, third-degree sexual abuse and endangering the welfare of a child.

Assistant District Attorney Melissa Scannell told jurors that Singh had "irreparably changed" the life of the then-14-year-old girl. She said the teenager reported the attack to a teacher that day, before speaking to police later and undergoing an exam that produced a sample that matched Singh's DNA.

Defense attorney Dennis Lemke conceded his client's guilt on the third-degree sex abuse charge and endangerment charge in his opening statement. The Mineola attorney also told jurors the alleged victim willingly went inside the house to see the family's dog, and that her best friend had been dating Singh's younger brother, who went to her school.

Lemke told jurors the two flirted and touched each other in the bedroom, but never had sexual intercourse, and that the alleged victim's physical exam didn't show injuries consistent with forced sex.

During a cross-examination, the alleged victim told Lemke she didn't punch or kick Singh or scream to try to get away while on the street, but couldn't pull away from his grip as he grabbed her and led her to his house.

The trial continues Friday.

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