A 37-year-old woman was raped in her building early Monday morning, and police believe the rapist waited in the stairwell of the West 36th Street loft building before attacking the woman. The victim, described as a painter, had left her fourth floor apartment around 1AM to buy groceries; when she noticed the motion-activated light on a lower landing turn on, the victim tried to run but the attacker caught her. The Daily News reports he "tied her to the railing by her T-shirt and sexually assaulted her."
The victim's boyfriend found her when he came home, because he was worried when she didn't call him as she promised to do. The police found that netting over a skylight had been pried open and collected evidence from the roof. All computers and hard drives were also taken; the victim's ex-husband claims that she had complained of being the target of "unspecified crimes and harassment."
The victim and her boyfriend were the only residents in the commercial building. The super, Jose Nunez, told Newsday, "They're very polite. They've been very good tenants," while Abraham Fofanah, who has a messenger service on the third floor, said, "It makes me very scared. I have female workers in the building. The building is usually well-secured - no way to get in and out without a key...Except maybe if the roof is unlocked." The Post notes that the roof is "part of a series of connected rooftops between several buildings that all have fire escapes."