An area man was sentenced to a total of 18 to 22 years in prison for the attempted rape of a prostitute.
Orange County resident Lionel Williams, 44, of Port Jervis, on Monday, Sept. 30, after a jury found him guilty of attempted rape and two counts of tampering with evidence in connection with the Sept. 17, 2018, attack, said Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler.
During the trial, prosecutors argued that late in the evening on Sept. 16, 2018, Williams sent a text message to a Port Jervis prostitute, arranging to meet her on West Main Street for a sexual encounter, the DA's Office said.
Before the time for the encounter arrived, Williams texted the woman again, canceling the arrangement. However, shortly after midnight the following night, Williams went to the arranged location, where the woman had arrived.
Williams followed the woman for several blocks, without her realizing it, before grabbing her from behind, dragging her down an embankment near the Delaware River, and attempting to rape her, the DA's Office said.
Williams then fled the scene. Later, Williams deleted the relevant text messages from his phone and disposed of the clothing he had been wearing at the time of the crime.
Hoovler thanked the City of Port Jervis Police Department for their efforts in the investigation and prosecution of the case: “The community will be safer during the two decades that this predator will be in prison. No woman, man, or child should ever be forced to endure being the victim of a sex crime.”
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