Man Charged in Bronx Sexual Assault Partly Captured on Disturbing Video

The video captures a disturbing sequence: A woman can be seen walking along a sidewalk in the Bronx on an early May morning, when a man, his face covered, approaches from behind. He throws a looped belt around the woman’s neck and yanks her to the ground. She loses consciousness. He drags her in between two parked cars.

Then, police said, he sexually assaulted her.

The scenes captured on the video sowed fear among many residents of the South Bronx. On Saturday, the police said they had arrested a man — Kashaan Parks, 39, also of the Bronx — in connection with the assault.

Mr. Parks faces several charges, including rape, assault, strangulation, sex abuse and harassment. The police said Mr. Parks had been arrested two other times: Once in 2018 for domestic assault, and in 2013 for theft of service in the transit system. It was not immediately clear if there was any connection between Mr. Parks and the woman.

The incident took place around 5 a.m. on May 1 near the intersection of East 152nd Street and Third Avenue. The woman, who was not named, went to Lincoln Hospital in the South Bronx after the attack. She did not report the assault to the authorities, Joseph Kenny, the chief of detectives for the Police Department, told reporters at a briefing on Friday.

The police learned about the assault when they saw the footage caught on security cameras that was being shared online, Chief Kenny said.

Officers tried to determine where the video came from, he said. Then an officer from a Bronx precinct where the woman was assaulted realized they already knew where the victim was: in police custody for an unrelated minor offense, Chief Kenny said.

“She then fills us in and tells us ‘yes,’ she was the victim,” he said.

Police did not answer questions about any charges she might have faced in connection with the minor offense. But Chief Kenny said the woman was working with officers on the rape investigation.

It was not immediately clear if Mr. Parks had a lawyer.

There have been more than 500 rapes reported to the authorities this year in New York City through the beginning of May, according to police data — about the same number that were reported over the same period last year.

It is not unusual for survivors of sexual violence to not report assaults to the police, said Maureen Curtis, the vice president of criminal justice programs at Safe Horizon, a nonprofit that places domestic violence counselors in the city’s police precincts.

“Survivors may be reluctant to report to the police because they are worried that they will be blamed or judged by the police; that their family or friends may be upset that they are involving the police,” she said. “Or they may ask themselves if it is worth calling the police because they think that the case will not go anywhere, so why put themselves through that additional trauma?”

They might also feel they are putting themselves in danger of being attacked again, Ms. Curtis said.

New York City has had problems investigating sexual assaults: In 2022, the U.S. Department of Justice opened an investigation into the Police Department’s handling of sex crimes. The probe came after rape survivors and victim advocates had spent years criticizing the division’s practices.

That year, a series of sexual assaults across Manhattan by a single perpetrator brought even more scrutiny to the Police Department.

In recent years, the police have “made some progress” in their handling of such cases, said Jane Manning, a former city prosecutor who is now the director of the Women’s Equal Justice Project, a nonprofit that helps rape survivors across the country. She said it was great that police officers seemed to be treating the survivor of the May attack as a victim and prioritizing the investigation of her rape.

“It is an example of the difference that good and sensitive police work can make,” she said, adding: “But we still have a long way to go.”

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