Police charge New York man with attack on girlfriend

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NAUGATUCK — Police charged a New York man Thursday with raping his girlfriend last Christmas in her borough apartment as the two were breaking up.

Johvanny Herrera, 36, of 14 Linwood Ave. in Huntington, N.Y., was visiting his 31-year-old girlfriend on Christmas when the two began arguing, the woman told police. Herrera’s 13-year-old son was also in the apartment, and the three were about to go to her cousin’s house for a holiday visit, she told police in a sworn statement. She said Herrera became angry because she told him to go home afterwards instead of staying with her because she had to go to work the next day.

The couple argued for about four hours before the woman told Herrera she was ending the relationship. At that point, Herrera picked the woman up, threw her on the bed, covered her mouth and raped her, the woman said. She said she repeatedly tried to pull her pants back on and push him away with her feet.

“I told him to stop,” the woman told police. “I was afraid that he would kill me.”

Afterward, Herrera spit on the woman, threw clothes from the closet on her and cursed at her, she told police. The woman’s name and address are being withheld to protect her privacy.

Herrera’s son told police he was watching videos with headphones on during the argument and heard his father go upstairs with his girlfriend. Herrera’s son turned the volume of his video up when he heard yelling and arguing upstairs, he told police. Eventually he went to the kitchen to tell them to stop fighting but was ignored, he told police.

The woman called family members to take her to the police department and report the assault, according to the arrest warrant.

Herrera’s girlfriend told police that, during the course of their year-long relationship, he had punched her in the face, pushed her into a coat rack, ripped her shirt off in front of his son and threatened to kill her. About a month before Christmas, he raped her for the first time during an argument, but days later he gave her flowers, a stuffed animal and diamonds, she told police.

Herrera tried to get into the woman’s apartment again on New Year’s Eve, but left before officers arrived, according to the affidavit. Police obtained a warrant charging Herrera with attempted burglary and notified officers in Suffolk County, N.Y., who arrested him.

Herrera was brought to borough police headquarters Jan. 9, where he was told about the rape allegations against him, according to police. He refused to respond until he spoke to his attorney, the warrant states.

While appearing in court Thursday on the burglary charge, Herrera was served with a warrant for first-degree sexual assault, risk of injury to a minor and disorderly conduct. Police said Thursday they did not have the amount of his bond recorded.

“The public shouldn’t be worried,” said Officer Michael Favale of the Naugatuck Police Department. “This isn’t a stranger.”

Jonathan Shugarts contributed to this article.