THE BRONX — A man who raped a woman he met through the online dating website Plenty Of Fish was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years in prison, according to the Bronx District Attorney's office.
Kenneth Washington, 36, of Harlem, connected with his victim through the dating website PlentyOfFish.com, and the two met in person on Oct. 9, 2014, the Bronx DA's office said.
The two began a relationship and met again on Oct. 15, when they went to an apartment on Walton Avenue, prosecutors said.
Washington left the apartment, drove away in his victim's Hyundai Santa Fe rental car, and returned several hours later with another woman, prosecutors said. He then forced the victim to have sex with him, according to the Bronx DA's office.
Washington told his victim that they were going for a ride, forced her into the backseat of her Hyundai and threatened to kill her if she didn't comply, court documents show.
"You're gonna gas up my car, and you're gonna make sure that there is always money in my account overseas," Washington told her, according to the criminal complaint. "The way you are crying is how they cry when they know they're gonna die."
Washington's female accomplice prevented the victim from escaping from the car, and when she tried to text 911 for help on her cell phone, Washington snatched the phone away, court documents show.
The victim was eventually able to escape by leaping out of the moving car, according to the criminal complaint.
Washington was caught days later, driving drunk in his victim's rental car after hitting a pedestrian and crashing into a building on Grand Concourse around 3 a.m. Oct. 19., 2014, according to court documents and the Bronx DA's office.
He tried to escape on foot by running into a subway station, but passersby held him until police arrived, the Bronx DA's office said.
"I only had one Long Island Ice[d] Tea earlier in the night," Washington said, according to the criminal complaint.
Justice Barbara Newman sentenced Washington, who had multiple prior convictions, to 17 years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision on Wednesday, roughly two months after he was convicted by a jury of crimes including rape, grand larceny, unlawful imprisonment and drunk driving.
His female accomplice has not yet been caught, according to the Bronx DA's office.
“This defendant used the Internet to prey on a woman who was searching for romance. He sexually assaulted her and stole her car," Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark said in a statement. "This case is a warning to use caution on dating websites, where people may not be what they seem.”
Washington's attorney declined to comment on the case.