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Jury: Man guilty in attack on woman

Friday, May 31, 2013
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— A 19-year-old man accused of attacking a 67-year-old woman in Saratoga Springs was convicted Friday of four felonies and one misdemeanor, but acquitted of four of the most serious charges against him.

A jury found Antonio Lopez Bautista of 10 Federal St. guilty of second-degree attempted kidnapping, first-degree sexual abuse and two counts of second-degree assault, all felonies, as well as misdemeanor criminal obstruction of breathing.

The jury deliberated from midday Thursday to midday Friday after a two-week trial before Saratoga County Court Judge Jerry J. Scarano.

Bautista was acquitted of first-degree assault, first-degree robbery, attempted first-degree rape and second-degree robbery.

The convictions indicate that the jury believed that Bautista did what authorities alleged but that they disagreed about the severity of the victim’s injuries, said First Assistant District Attorney Karen A. Heggen. Authorities said the victim suffered retina damage.

“In my view, the jury evaluated the evidence and found that he was responsible for having perpetrated the violence against this victim,” she said.

The victim’s name is being withheld; The Gazette does not name victims of sexual crimes.

The attack happened early in the morning of May 22, 2012, behind West Side Stadium Cafe and Legends Cafe on Congress Street. Bautista approached the woman’s vehicle as she sat in the driver’s seat waiting for her husband, who was working as a cleaner inside the bar, authorities said.

He opened the door, struggled with her, beat her and pulled her out of her seat, authorities said.

Then he dragged her 60 feet into a dark area and tore off her shirt and bra and pulled down her pants, authorities said. The woman screamed and neighbors called police, who found Bautista hiding near the scene minutes later.

Jurors saw surveillance video footage taken from cameras at West Side Stadium Cafe that showed the 31⁄2-minute beating.

“The victim was very brave to have to get up in front of strangers and testify about such a horrific act being perpetrated against her,” Heggen said.

Bautista testified in his own defense, saying he doesn’t remember the attack. A Spanish interpreter assisted him throughout the trial.

He is scheduled to be sentenced July 26; Heggen said prosecutors plan to seek the maximum 15-year sentence.

Authorities say Bautista is in the U.S. illegally and that after he completes his prison sentence, he will be turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation.

 
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