A man who raped a 19-year-old woman in her apartment building courtyard while wielding a box cutter was sentenced to 25 years to life. Judge The victim, now 24, said in a statement read at the sentencing, "I am still now, 4 years later, picking up the pieces of myself and trying to put them back together."

On May 8, 2008 around 3:30 a.m., the young woman had been walking home to her apartment on Prince Street in Soho when she was asked for a cigarette. Her attacker had been following her from the subway; Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said at the time, "She went into her residence; he followed her upstairs. He then accosted her, dragged her downstairs, and sexually assaulted her."

Andres Suarez wasn't picked up until 2011, when his DNA was entered into a state database after he was convicted of an unrelated crime. The DNA matched evidence from the unsolved 2008 rape, and Suarez, 30, was tried and convicted last year.

The victim, who testified last November but was not present at the sentencing (she has moved to Europe), also said in her statement, "The aftermath of this attack changed my personality so drastically that many of my friends did not know how to talk to me, so they just stopped." Suarez asked for forgiveness, but Judge Gregory Carro told him, "You followed her from the train to her home and took her to a dank, dark courtyard and raped her. Growing up poor or even having a drug addiction …. certainly is not an excuse for this type of predatory conduct."