Brooklyn man faces lengthy prison sentence after alleged rape of Howard Beach woman

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A Brooklyn man faces up to 25 years in prison after allegedly raping and robbing a Howard Beach woman earlier this week, prosecutors announced Friday.  

According to charges, Joshua Henderson, 33, of Chester Court in Brooklyn, allegedly dressed up in a construction worker’s outfit Monday afternoon — wearing a hard hat, yellow reflective vest and work boots — and knocked on the victim’s door. The woman answered and was told by Henderson that there was work being done on the roof and he instructed her to close the curtains.

The woman closed her door as Henderson walked further down the apartment building’s hallway and, moments later, she spotted him in her bedroom. Henderson allegedly opened the fire escape window, and removed a fan from the window panel before ordering the woman to drop her phone and asking her, “where’s the money,” according to charges.

Henderson then allegedly grabbed documents from a safe in the woman’s bedroom, pointed a black object toward the woman and threatened to shoot her. He proceeded into the victim’s adult son’s room and allegedly threatened him with a gun before tying the mother and son up and nabbing jewelry and cash — among other items — and issuing an ultimatum to the woman. 

According to prosecutors, Henderson allegedly told the woman “I can choke you and kill you with this pillow, you can have sex with me or I will force you to have sex with your son.”

Henderson then forced the woman’s son into a nearby bathroom, locked him inside and then allegedly raped the woman, prosecutors said. He then left the scene and was allegedly captured on surveillance video leaving the apartment building.

Henderson was arraigned Thursday evening before Queens Criminal Court Judge Toni Cimino on charges of first-degree rape, first- and second-degree burglary and first- and second-degree robbery.

 “This was a horrible attack. The victim was given an impossible choice by the defendant, who allegedly threatened to shoot her and then proceeded to sexually assault her — as the woman’s adult son was bound and locked in a nearby room. Everyone deserves to not only feel safe and secure in their home, but to actually be safe,” said acting District Attorney John M. Ryan. “This defendant is now in custody and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. If the charges are proven true, he deserves nothing less than to be locked away from society for an extremely long time.”

 Judge Cimino remanded the defendant and set his return date for Oct. 4.

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