Tuesday, October 22, 2013

New York: Rapist, 43, Threatened 73-Year-Old Birdwatcher After Photographing Him Masturbating

According to http://www.gothamist.com, an incorrigible sex offender, David Albert Mitchell, 43, who attacked, beat and raped a 73-year-old birdwatcher last year (2012) in New York City's Central Park was sentenced to 30 years in prison and 10 years supervised released last week.

Appearing in court, the rapist's victim, said to the defendant: "You, David Albert Mitchell, for the pain you inflicted on me and, by association, my loving family and friends, may you rot in hell for all eternity," and said to the judge, "Make no mistake: This is a sexual terrorist... do the right thing so that nobody else is every hurt or menaced by this evil infestation."

COMMENT: For the benefit of our readers, despite the horrific experience that the victim was forced to endure, there is background information stemming from this case that may have contributed to the perpetrator's selection of the victim.

Specifically, during an earlier birdwatching outing the victim had photographed Mitchell while he was observed masturbating in public in Central Park, a factor that in the assailant's mind, might well have contributed to him later targeting the victim, knowing that birdwatchers invariably return to the same area where they have photographed birds in the past.

In retrospect, when the victim first photographed her would-be assailant, she should have promptly taken the photograph of Mitchell to NYPD and filed a complaint at the time, which potentially could have interrupted her rape attack in September. 

In the future, potential victims should be very cautious in observing abnormal behavior on the part of others, however genuine their motives, as capturing such activity on film or digitally potentially could be a motive for a future attack.

Following Mitchell's brutal attack on the victim in September, he also stole her camera bag and threatened her again before leaving her at the scene of the attack. Another birdwatcher found her face-down on the ground with a swollen face and black eye. Mitchell was promptly arrested by NYPD.

According to THE NEW YORK TIMES, Mitchell agreed to a plea deal last week. Nevertheless, Justice Bonnie G. Wittner gave him the "maximum she could give him under the terms of his plea bargain with the Manhattan district attorney’s office." In commenting in her sentence, Justice Wittner said that it was her intention "...to punish him and make sure he will never hurt any other person again."

Interestingly, twenty-five years ago, Mitchell had been charged with raping and killing an 86-year-old woman in West Virginia (but was acquitted) and was later arrested for raping a woman in her 70s.