A 32-year-old man will spend time in prison and register as a sex offender for attempted sex crimes against a Westchester college student last year.
Ariel Caro, of New York City, was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison after pleading guilty to attempted sex abuse and attempted burglary as a sexually motivated crime, both felonies. Caro was also sentenced to 10 years post-release supervision and will have to register as a sex offender when he is released.
Westchester County District Attorney Anthony Scarpino, Jr. said that at approximately 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 11, 2018, Caro knocked on a student’s dorm room door at Pace University. When she answered the door, expecting someone else, Caro pushed his way in, closed the door and blocked her access out of the room.
Caro went on to expose himself and masturbated in front of the student.
Scarpino said, “the resident asked him to leave, fearing what he might do to her. He continued his actions and tried verbally to engage her. Using her wits, the student began to repeat a series of expressions, acting, she said, as if she suffered from a form of autism, as she had seen on television. As she got louder, he chose to flee.”
The student called her mother, who alerted campus security. Caro was not a student at the time of the assault and had no reason to be on campus. Security reviewed surveillance videos, which found that Caro had been in another dorm room as well and other students reported an unknown man knocking on their dorm room doors.
According to Scarpino, Mount Pleasant Police investigated further and found Caro had put his possessions and drug paraphernalia in a vacant dorm room earlier, leading to the burglary charge.
“Perhaps one might think that because I was not ‘physically injured’–that perhaps the attack was not so serious–this is not so,” Caro’s victim said in a statement read by Assistant District Attorney Michelle Lopez. “This attack was heinous and the attacker, in my opinion, is a threat to society.
“I wondered whether my life ambition of going to university was misplaced and thought about dropping out of college, but realized that this would only harm me further…I hope one day I will feel safe again and not so helpless, a feeling I never had before this horrible attack.”
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