QUEENS, N.Y. — A grand jury indicted a Georgia man on a slew of charges in connection with a brutal rape and assault of a woman in a Queens alley last year, District Attorney Melinda Katz announced on Monday.
Authorities tracked down 38-year-old Rony Lopez Alvarez in Forest Park, Georgia and brought him back to Queens on Friday to face charges. He was arraigned in Queens Supreme Court for rape in the first degree, criminal sexual act in the first degree, sexual abuse in the first degree, robbery in the third degree and kidnapping in the second degree.
According to the district attorney’s office, Lopez Alvarez grabbed the 27-year-old victim as she walked along Jamaica Avenue, near 163rd Street, around 4 a.m. on Jan. 18, 2020. He put his hand over her mouth, wrapped his arm around her waist and pressed a sharp object against her, Katz’s office said.
He then forced the victim into an alley and threatened to “snap her neck” if she screamed before removing some of her clothes and raping her, according to the district attorney’s office.
Lopez Alvarez also allegedly went through the victim’s pockets and stole her money before running off.
The woman flagged down another person who called 911. EMS took her to a nearby hospital with injuries to her head, body, arms and legs, authorities said at the time of the assault.
Authorities were able to gather DNA evidence from a hospital rape kit. The DNA profile did not immediately turn up a match in the system, but authorities later matched the profile with Lopez Alvarez, according to the district attorney’s office.
“For more than a year, the investigation into this brutal attack continued and intensified in an effort to find justice for the victim. The defendant may have thought he’d found refuge in another state, but he has been brought back to our jurisdiction and now faces serious charges,” Katz said in a statement on Monday.
If convicted, Lopez Alvarez could face up to 25 years in prison.