DOWNTON BROOKLYN — A Bushwick man photographed masturbating in front of a neighborhood woman told a judge he was just urinating on the street, but agreed to plead guilty to the crime anyway to avoid more jail time.
Rafael Fuller, 28 — who a Bushwick resident said twice stared at her while fondling himself, including as recently as Aug. 1 — will serve 90 days in jail on one count of public lewdness, though he told Judge Donald Leo he was taking the plea to lessen his punishment.
"I'm pleading guilty for no reason. I do not want to sit in jail for a year for some s--t I didn't do," he said at Brooklyn Criminal Court Tuesday. "I was just urinating in the street and I got locked up."
Fuller said he had no idea who his accuser was or what she looked like, adding he would try to comply with the order of protection placed against him. The woman, Cecily Witcher, lives only a few blocks from Fuller.
"I don't know how she looks," he said. "I still don't know who that is."
At the Tuesday hearing, prosecutors had added charges from three other incidents where Fuller stalked, harassed and masturbated in front of Witcher — on May 6, 2016, May 25, 2016, and Sept. 1, 2016. All of those charges were dismissed as part of the plea deal.
"He definitely wasn't peeing," Witcher said in response to his statements.
She had twice tried to report Fuller to police in the 83rd Precinct for public lewdness, but was told that it would be a "waste of time."
Following a DNAinfo New York report about Witcher's interactions with police, officers swiftly moved to arrest Fuller and found him near his home on Madison Street with a 7-inch knife, according to police and prosecutors. He was additionally charged weapons possession after police found the knife in his pocket, prosecutors said.
He plead guilty to disorderly conduct Friday for the weapons charge, and was cleared on time served, sources said.
"It's a start," Witcher said of Fuller's sentence. "I'm pissed, because if the police would've taken my initial report last year, I would've had a stronger case. But they only had this recent encounter to really try him on so I didn't expect him to get a really long time. But I tell you I feel a lightness knowing he's off the street. I actually went out last weekend and drove my car versus taking a cab for fear of coming home late and not finding a spot, then possibly running into him again because he just comes out of nowhere late nights and early mornings."
Fuller's attorney, Richard Korn, declined to comment further following the hearing.
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story stated that Fuller was not charged for having a knife, when he had in fact been charged with weapons possession.