By K. S. Nikhil Kumar
The victim had asked to speak to her attacker. She rose and came to the front of
Judge Vincent DelGiudice’s Brooklyn courtroom today. The judge was about to pronounce sentence for Boker Thomas, 31, who stood convicted of multiple counts of rape, criminal sexual assault, burglary and robbery.
Three court officers escorted Thomas into the crowded courtroom. He wore a yellow shirt, handcuffs and no expression on his face.
The victim held in her hands a piece of paper. She called it “Letter to my rapist.” She began to read. “You raped me on the night of March 19, 2008. That has been the worst night of my life. You have ruined my life. I cannot set foot outside without someone being with me. I think about the attack every day. I wish I knew how there were people like you in the world. Aside from me having to deal with this you also have to deal with what you have done for the rest of your life.”
When she was done, it was Thomas’ turn to speak.
“I’m not guilty of the crimes. I’m not a monster,” he said, plaintively. “I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I’m innocent of the charges. I’m not the guy who did this. I’m not that man.”
The prosecution claimed that Thomas tried to overpower his victims in stairwells and elevators near their homes. One of his victims was 13, two were 15 and one was 18. Six of the crimes occurred in housing projects in Brownsville. The case also led to the dismissal of police officers captured on surveillance cameras not patrolling the stairwells where some of the attacks took place.
“You say you are not a monster,” Judge DelGiudice said to Thomas. “You are a predator. Your animalistic conduct has had an untold effect on the victims.”
And with that he sentenced him to a maximum of 437 years in prison.
As Thomas was being escorted out of the courtroom, three burly bald men who were sitting up front rose to leave. They were the police officers who had arrested Thomas. They had come to watch him being sentenced. A reporter asked if they were pleased. They nodded and smiled.