YOU READ IT HERE FIRST: A West New York man convicted in the brutal rape of his girlfriend at an Edgewater construction site this afternoon threatened the victim in Spanish, making her cry, as he was being led out of the courtroom by Bergen County Sheriff’s officers.
Arsenio Amelco took the woman the night of his 24th birthday last July on a drinking binge after promising her dinner, then dragged her beneath a tractor-trailer near a River Road restaurant and rape, beat and choked her as he threatened her life, jurors found.
Defense attorney Alan Peyrouton admitted that his client struck the woman after an argument but insisting that she participated in the sex willingly.
Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Kristin DeMarco, meanwhile, highlighted contradictions in Amelco’s trial testimony against a 105-page statement he gave to police after he was chased and arrested three days after the incident.
Reading sections where Amelco said his date told him “not to put it inside, not to put it inside,” he ultimately told detectives: “Yes, she told me no and I told her yes. Obviously I wanted those things to happen.”
He also told detectives that the woman slapped him first and he struck her back during an argument following a phone call to her mother. The blow broke her nose.
Testifying in his own defense, Amelco told DeMarco last Wednesday that the statement he gave was inaccurate because “the detective spoke Spanish pretty poorly.”
DeMarco reminded the jurors during closing arguments Thursday that Spanish is the detective’s native language.
She also described the suspenseful arrest of Amelco, who was packed with his passport and other documents in a travel bag, “a big bag of clothes, his permanent resident card, and a social security card” when detectives grabbed him last July.
Amelco had moved out of his apartment earlier in the day, and police found his belongings in the home of a cousin on Hudson Avenue in West New York.
A female detective climbed out a window and onto a rooftop of the Hudson County apartment as Amelco fled, then spied him hanging from a window ledge on an adjacent apartment building trying to punch in a window pane.
“It was a very narrow alley,” DeMarco told jurors. “She had her service weapon ready and shouted, “Stop! Hands up! Come back!”
Instead of surrendering, however, Amelco began to advance on the officer — and only stopped when a backup detective approached from another direction.
“He was trying to get the heck out of there,” the prosecutor said.
The victim testified that until that night she was a virgin.
Peyrouton contended that she filed charges because of an unhealthy relationship with her mother.
The trial began two weeks ago with DeMarco telling jurors that Amelco approached the woman at a bus stop in West New York, where she was waiting to go to work, on Saturday, July 20 of last year. He asked her to dinner that evening to celebrate his birthday and she accepted, the prosecutor said.
The evening didn’t go well, however. READ MORE….
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