2017-07-26 / Front Page

Arrest In Kissena Park Sex Attacks

By Liz Goff
A 29-year-old Flushing man has been charged with raping one woman and sexually assaulting another at knifepoint in two separate attacks last week in Kissena Park.

Charles Tobin, 29, allegedly robbed and raped a woman at knifepoint in Kissena Corridor Park on the night of July 18, police said. Tobin returned to the park on the next night and did it again – this time sexually assaulting a teenager, police said.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said the first victim had just finished jogging and was walking in Kissena Corridor Park just before 11:30 p.m. on July 18, when Tobin suddenly appeared, held a knife to her throat and demanded cash.

After the woman handed over $50 from her purse Tobin allegedly said, “Follow what I say,” a police source said. Tobin pulled the woman onto an overgrown, litter strewn gravel path near 56th Avenue and raped her, police said.

Tobin ran from the scene – making sure to take the condom he used in the attack with him, in an effort to avoid leaving DNA evidence behind, a police source said. But he left behind a foil wrapper from the condom, leaving fingerprint and DNA evidence, the source said.

Tobin went back to the park less than 24-hours later, where he attacked a 17-year-old jogger at knifepoint, police said. He attempted to rob the teen, then held the knife to her neck, sexually abused her and forced her to perform a sex act on him, the source said.

Police at the Queens Special Victims Squad spotted Tobin drinking from a water fountain at the park on July 20, and arrested him in the two attacks.

Tobin was arrested on June 20 by cops at the Queens Special Victims Squad, who spotted him drinking from a water fountain in the park. The cops recognized Tobin through several unique features described by his victims and took him into custody, a police spokesperson said. “This guy hunted his victims like prey,” a police source said.

Tobin, who lived on nearby Kissena Boulevard, was charged with two counts of predatory sexual assault, one count of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual act, one count of first-degree robbery, one count of first-degree attempted robbery and two counts of criminal possession of a weapon at his arraignment at Queens Criminal Court on July 22, where he was held without bail. He is facing up to 50-years to life in prison, if convicted.

“Our city parks should be a safe haven for people at any time of the day or night,” Brown said. “But earlier this week it is alleged that a human predator lurked in the darkness and, in separate acts ambushed two lone women – one 32, the other only 17 – at knifepoint, raping and robbing one and attempting to rob the other before sexually assaulting her,” Brown said. “The defendant now faces the possibility of spending the rest of his life behind bars, if convicted.”






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