ASTORIA — A convicted sex offender who police say choked and tried to sexually assault a woman in the elevator of her Queens apartment building last week has been charged in the attack, officials said Monday.
Elvis McKenzie, 27, of Flushing, was arraigned Monday on charges of first-degree attempted rape, second-degree assault and criminal obstruction of breathing or blood circulation, according to the Queens District Attorney's office.
McKenzie allegedly followed the 53-year-old victim into the elevator of her Astoria building around 11:30 a.m. on June 2, where he put his hands in his pants and rubbed his genitals, according to the Queens DA's office.
He then allegedly choked the victim and repeatedly punched her in the face before exposing himself and attempting to pull down the woman's pants. When the elevator doors opened, the victim managed to use her leg to keep them from closing and began screaming for help, causing McKenzie to flee, officials said.
"The defendant is accused of following his victim like a predator and waiting until she was isolated and trapped inside an elevator before attempting to sexually assault her," Queens DA Richard Brown said in a statement.
"The offenses that the defendant is charged with committing are crimes of violence that pose a serious threat to public safety and, as such, warrant, punishment by a lengthy prison term." 0
McKenzie faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. He was ordered held on $200,000 bail and is due back in court June 23.
He has been arrested at least eight times between 2006 and 2012, a police spokeswoman said previously. He was convicted in 2007 for sexually abusing a 26-year-old woman, state sex offender records show, and served three years behind bars.
McKenzie's attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.