(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the guilty plea of 30-year-old Jesse Diaz who was charged with the May 2021 rape and strangulation of a woman in Coram who was taking a footpath through a wooded area in the vicinity of Route 112.
“This plea offers the victim some relief from having to testify at trial, see the defendant and relive this brutal attack,” said Tierney. “This plea also means the defendant is one step closer to being held fully accountable for the vicious crime he committed.” DA Tierney thanked the Suffolk County Police and the Medical Examiner’s Office for their work in resolving this case before anyone else could be harmed.
According to court documents and the defendant’s own admission, on May 27, 2021, at approximately 1 p.m., the victim was walking home from a convenience store located in Coram. The defendant accosted the victim from behind as she was walking through a footpath in a wooded area in the vicinity of Route 112. After he rushed up behind her and came around her, he demanded that she go with him. When the victim refused, Diaz then grabbed the victim and began to pull on her. As the victim struggled, she managed to scratch Diaz’ face with her fingernails. The defendant then grabbed her by the neck and strangled her with such force that she lost consciousness. When she came to, the defendant was dragging her by the throat, with her feet trailing along the ground. The victim lost consciousness a second time and awoke face down on the ground, deeper into the wooded path. The defendant then sexually assaulted the victim and repeatedly threatened that she would die there in the woods. After the rape, Diaz fled.
The victim was treated at Stony Brook Hospital for her injuries. At the time of his arrest on June 2, 2021, Diaz had injuries to his face consistent with the scratches that the victim reported. After a court-ordered DNA buccal swab was taken from the defendant and processed by the Crime Lab, the DNA of defendant was found to match that of the perpetrator.
At the time he committed the rape, the defendant had outstanding matters in District Court for misdemeanors and violations for which he was out of custody as they are not bail-eligible offenses.
The guilty plea was taken today by the Honorable Karen M. Wilutis, District Court Judge and Acting County Court Judge. The defendant is represented by Melissa Kanas of the Legal Aid Society. Diaz's next court date is pending.
This case was investigated by Det. Krug of the Suffolk County Police Department Sixth Squad.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Dena Rizopoulos of the Major Crime Bureau.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.
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