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Friday, 31 May 2013 15:12

Man Convicted of Brutal Assault of Woman

By Staff Report | News

SARATOGA SPRINGS - Antonio Lopez Bautista, 20, was convicted today by a jury of second degree kidnapping, first degree sexual abuse, second degree assault, all classified as violent felonies, as well as criminal obstruction of breathing for the assault on a Saratoga Springs woman just over a year ago. 

Bautista, who had lived at 10 Federal Street, Apt. 5, assaulted a woman waiting in her car for her husband who was working at the time. 

He could face up to 15 years in prison for the convictions. 

During the trial, Bautista’s defense attorney tried to say the illegal immigrant was not responsible for attacking the woman, claiming he took too much cough syrup because he could not read the directions and then combined it with alcohol, rendering him unable to make conscious decisions. Bautista said he attacked the woman because he believed she was someone from his childhood who had brutalized him.  

The brutal attack occurred behind the West Side Stadium Restaurant and Legends Cafe, in the vicinity of Congress Street in the early morning hours of May 22, while the 67-year-old woman waited in her parked car for her husband who was inside. Bautista, who had been seen in surveillance film from that night walking down the street and then ducking down into the brush to hide, lay in wait under the cover of darkness observing her sitting in the driver's seat. He snuck up to her vehicle while she sat quietly inside, opened the door to the car and attacked her, ripping her from her seat, beating her about the head, neck and body, while she grasped the seatbelt in an attempt to prevent him from getting her out of the vehicle.  

The film shows Bautista overpowering her and dragging her more than 60 feet away from her car, the lighted parking lot and the restaurant parking lot, down Congress Street into a dark area where he removed her shirt and bra and pulled down her pants when he tried to sexually assault her. The woman’s screams woke nearby neighbors who summoned police who responded immediately.  Saratoga Springs Police Department Officers apprehended him hiding near the scene minutes after the attack.

District Attorney James Murphy III said, "This crime is  so heinous that it shocks the conscience and anyone who saw the parking lot videotape of the assault would be horrified and angered by the defendant's attack on the 67 year old innocent woman.  Mr. Bautista is violent, dangerous and a predator and needs to be removed from our community for a very long time. I am proud of the work of the Saratoga Springs Police Department, Assistant District Attorneys Michele Chettino and Ann Sullivan and the jury who saw through his false claim of "I don't remember the attack."  Judge Scarano was able to keep a complicated trial with a Spanish interpreter moving along without any issue and we are grateful that the victim received justice in the verdict today."

Assistant District Attorney Schettino said, "The victim in this case was so brave and did an extraordinary job on the stand. The jury saw that she is a human being just like any one of us and it must have been very difficult to speak about this violent sexual attack."

District Attorney Murphy credited the work of the Saratoga Springs Police Department, the New York State Police Crime Lab and the cooperation of the employees of the West Side Stadium and the community members who came forward for bringing justice to the victim and said, "so often we hear people who do not want to become involved in police investigations or court cases, but thankfully we do not have that kind of person in our community rather we have people who look out for one another and to come to the aid of someone in need."

The defendant could receive a prison sentence of up to 15 years in state prison on the highest charge.  Under the law, since the crimes occurred at the same time, the prison sentences must run concurrently.

Sentencing has been scheduled for July 26 at 11 a.m. 

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