MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT— An East Harlem man who pleaded guilty to raping one Upper East Side woman and sexually assaulting another last summer was sentenced to 20 years in prison Tuesday.
Jason Quinones, 23, crawled into a 27-year-old woman’s East 90th Street ground-floor apartment while she slept Aug. 13, 2011, then took her cell phone so she couldn’t call for help and raped her, prosecutors said.
A month earlier, Quinones, who has a 2009 felony conviction for a drug sale, followed a different woman into her East 83rd Street building, forced her into her apartment, threw her onto her couch and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors said.
Quinones had admitted to the crimes in May, but his sentencing was stalled after he told officials in July that he drank alcohol with the women and the sex was consensual, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers said.
Quinones had made similar claims about consensual sex when he was arrested last August.
“What is the truth?" Carruthers asked Tuesday.
Quinones’ lawyer, Anothony Strazza, said his client made false comments and now accepted responsibility for the assaults.
Reading from a brief statement, Quinones told the judge, "I saw the girl was sleeping and I climbed in through the window and had sex with the girl while she was sleeping.”
Carruthers told Quinones that he'd put his 20-year plea agreement in jeopardy — but Carruthers was willing to accept the deal to spare the victims the pain of having to testify at trial.
Quinones, who will also serve 10 years of probation after his release, was charged with one count of first-degree rape and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse. Without a deal, he faced a maximum of 25 years in prison.
"The defendant sexually assaulted two victims in their own homes, violating their sense of security in the place where they should feel most safe," District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said in a statement. “I commend the victims for their bravery in coming forward, and hope that today’s sentencing gives them a measure of closure.”