In September, a 16-year-old pizza delivery boy was accused of raping a 35-year-old woman in her West 61st Street apartment. Cesar Lucas, who has reportedly confessed to the horrific crime, was arrested after cops determined he had been delivering a pizza to one of the victim's neighbors that night. Now, the victim has decided to sue almost everyone involved with the rape, including Lucas, Sal's Pizza (where Lucas worked), her Upper West Side building's management company, her building's condo board, and the doorman on duty the night of the incident.
"You live in a doorman building on the 10th floor and you think that you're safe. You think that the people running the building and the people working in the building are looking out for your well being and are taking the security of the building seriously,” the victim, a modeling agent, told the Daily News. “To say that I was let down is a massive understatement." The victim’s lawyer, Marc Albert, said the rape never would have happened if the building had maintained adequate security and the doorman had been more vigilant.
That 63-year-old doorman, Luis Rodriguez, previously said he doesn't think he deserves the blame for the attack: “There was nothing I or anyone put on that desk that night could have done to assist in whatever was going on upstairs on the 10th floor.” A source had also previously said that Halstead Property, which manages the building, had eliminated the overnight porter job a couple of months ago—that person would have accompanied a delivery man upstairs at that time of night.
Rodriguez, whose 13-year-old son has been admitted New York Presbyterian Hospital with pneumonia, has since been suspended without pay. The News says the victim reached out to him afterwards, telling him, “I am so sorry about everything...I love you and I just can't believe this." Her lawyer added, “Management of the building is trying to make Rodriguez the scapegoat. But the problems go far beyond the doorman and it’s time for Halstead and the building to answer for this devastating incident that never should have happened. My client has to live the rest of her life with their mistakes.”
Nevertheless, Rodriguez is named in the victim's lawsuit. The victim told the Post: “I am trying to cope with this situation, but it is just so hard. I cry constantly. I’m having flashbacks. I am already getting counseling, but how do you ever move past something like this? Knowing that my daughter has been impacted as well just makes things so much worse.”