NEWS: NYC building superintendent raped undocumented apartment cleaner, demanded nude photos of daughter as blackmail: DA
A Manhattan building superintendent allegedly raped an undocumented apartment cleaner during a years-long campaign of terror in which he demanded nude pictures of the woman’s special needs daughter in a twisted form of blackmail.
Jose Espinoza, 62, was indicted Tuesday in Manhattan Supreme Court on multiple counts of rape, criminal sex act, sex abuse and labor trafficking over what officials called the “absolutely horrendous” allegations that date back to the summer of 2017.
That year, Espinoza met the woman — an undocumented immigrant from Paraguay — and allegedly coerced her into having sex for money if she agreed to clean apartments in the Flatiron apartment building where he served as the super, according to the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
The next year, Espinoza allegedly began beating the woman, tracking her phone and ripping up her passports as he became increasingly controlling, prospectors allege.
The accused rapist allegedly also blackmailed her into silence by demanding nude photographs of her special needs child — and threatening to share the images if the woman “ever defied his orders,” the DA’s office said.
At least once, Espinoza forced the victim to have sex with him in front of her daughter, prosecutors allege.
It wasn’t until the spring of 2022, that the deranged torture was exposed.
While undergoing treatment for breast cancer at a Manhattan hospital, the survivor confided in a social worker, who then alerted authorities — leading to Espinoza’s bust by the NYPD Human Trafficking Squad.
“These alleged acts are absolutely horrendous, and I cannot imagine the physical, emotional and mental trauma this survivor continues to experience. It took extraordinary strength and courage for her to come forward and our team of specially trained prosecutors, investigators and social workers will support her with every resource we have available,” Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said in a statement.
Espinoza — who pleaded not guilty at his Supreme Court arraignment — was held on an $800,000 bond by Judge Ann Sherzer at his Tuesday arraignment.
The super is due back in court on February 13. He faces over ten years in prison if convicted.