Note: This story describes details of a reported sexual crime. Some people might find the details upsetting. If you or someone you know has been a victim of a sexual or domestic assault, contact the police or The Tompkins County Advocacy Center here.
ITHACA, N.Y. — A Freeville man convicted of attempting to rape a young teen was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday after being found guilty of the crime in November.
Ray Dennis, 49, was convicted of endangering the welfare of a child and felony first-degree attempted rape after a bench trial ( a trial decided by a judge instead of a jury) overseen by Judge Scott Miller. A jury trial was waived by the defendant.
During the court proceedings, Dennis did not deny going into a young teenager’s room in February, asking her to take her clothes off and physically struggling with her while she cried out for help and he removed her clothes. His defense, however, was that he didn’t intend to rape the teen — he wanted to see her naked.
He and his defense claimed that it was an act of voyeurism, not rape.
When the teen testified in court, however, she made it clear that there was a horrible struggle between her and Dennis, during which she tried to fight off a man who appeared nearly twice her size.
“I thought he was going to rape me,” she said.
In addition to the prison time, Dennis will also serve 15 years of post-release supervision.
Assistant District Attorney Kristen Grabowski prosecuted the case and Dennis was represented by attorney Thomas Kheel.
District Attorney Matt Van Houten said in a news release, “I want to commend Kristen Grabowski for her excellent work in securing a conviction in this case. This sentence provides a significant level of closure and justice for the victim and her family.”