A woman leaving church was sexually assaulted in the middle of a street in Jamaica, Queens on Tuesday night, according to police. The victim says a group of five men forced her to perform oral sex on three of them; she told the Daily News, "They said, ‘If you don’t do that, I’ll shoot you.' So I did what I had to do."
The assault took place around 10:15 p.m., after the woman left the Celestial Church of Christ on Liberty Avenue near 150th Street. Two men allegedly threatened her with a gun, took her purse, and forced her to remove her clothes. Police sources told the NY Post the men led the victim down the block to 150-06 Beaver Road, "where they were joined by three other men." The Post's sources say it's unclear if the attack had been planned in advance and if the other men had been laying in wait.
Three of the men then forced her to perform oral sex on them behind a garbage truck while the other two acted as lookouts, police say.
The victim, a Liberian immigrant who lives in Brooklyn, recounted the horror to the Daily News, "I thought it was a joke at first, but when I turned he put the gun to my forehead and repeated himself, saying ‘Give me all the money.' I told him ‘I have no money’ and he said ‘Give me your wallet.’"
But then, she said, "They tell me, ‘You don’t have money so take off your clothes!’ I said, ‘What? In the middle of the street?’"
She also told them she was HIV positive (which she isn't) in an attempt to stop them from assaulting her, the News reports.
The men allegedly took the victim's phone and purse before fleeing the scene. She then ran back to the church; Pastor Kehinde Oyetunde said he heard her screams and that she was "shivering and crying."
Oyetunde told 1010 WINS that he saw where the assault took place, "We saw condom on the floor, they wanted to rape her."
Churchgoers were reeling; one female parishioner said to the Post, "There are so many churches on this street and you would never think something like that would happen here. This is a place of God.”
No arrests have been made; police say the investigation is ongoing.