DA charges homeless man with attempted rape of woman inside Forest Park

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The 32-year-old man who allegedly tried to rape a 51-year-old woman inside of Forest Park over the weekend has been charged with attempted rape and a handful of other charges, Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Tuesday.

In addition to the attempted rape charge, Cuauhtemoc Cardenas, who is currently homeless, faces charges of assault in the second degree, sexual abuse and criminal obstruction of breathing for allegedly trying to strangle the woman, according to Katz. Cardenas was ordered to be held without bail by Judge Toko Serita and faces up to 25 years in prison if convicted.

On Saturday, July 25, around 6:30 p.m., Cardenas allegedly approached the 51-year-old woman from behind as she walked on a trail inside Forest Park, the DA said. Cardenas tapped the woman on the shoulder and when she turned around he hit her in the face and tried to kiss her, according to the charges.

Screenshot via NYPD

The woman fell to the ground and Cardenas began to drag her toward the bushes, pulling down her pants as he did, Katz said. Cardenas then got on top of the woman and wrapped a piece of cloth around her neck and began to choke her, according to the authorities.

The woman began to scream, other people in the park heard and Cardenas ran off, Katz said. After the alleged attack, the woman was taken to a local hospital where she was treated for her injuries.

Cardenas is expected to return to court on Aug. 28.