District Attorney Hoovler Announces Prison Sentence In Port Jervis Attempted Rape Case

October 13, 2019

Defendant Convicted After Trial of Luring a Prostitute to
a Prearranged Location to Rape Her

Defendant Sentenced to Total of 18 to 21 Years in Prison

Orange County District Attorney David M. Hoovler announced that on Monday, September 30, 2019, Orange County Court Judge Craig Stephen Brown sentenced Lionel Williams, age 44, of Port Jervis, to a total of eighteen to twenty-one years in state prison in connection with the September 17, 2018, attempted rape of a prostitute in Port Jervis. On May 9, 2019, a trial jury convicted Williams of Attempted Rape in the First Degree and two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence.

During the trial, prosecutors argued that late in the evening on September 16, 2018, Williams sent a text message to a Port Jervis prostitute, arranging to meet her on West Main Street for a sexual encounter. Before the time for the encounter arrived, Williams texted the woman again, cancelling the arrangement. Shortly after midnight on September 17, 2018, however, 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. 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.

Williams was sentenced to fifteen years in state prison and twenty years post-release supervision for the crime of Attempted Rape in the First Degree. Williams was also sentenced to one and one-half to three years in state prison on each of the two counts of Tampering with Physical Evidence. (One count of Tampering with Physical Evidence pertained to Williams having deleted text messages and the other pertained to his disposing of his clothing.) Judge Brown ordered that all three sentences run consecutively with each other for a total of eighteen to twenty-one years in state prison and twenty years post-release supervision.

District Attorney 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,” said District Attorney Hoovler. “No woman, man, or child should ever be forced to endure being the victim of a sex crime. My Office will continue to seek significant, appropriate sentences for those who commit sex crimes.”

District Attorney Hoovler highly commended Senior Assistant District Attorney Maryellen Albanese and Assistant District Attorney Christine Maggiore who prosecuted the case.