Schenectady County

Schenectady rape trial opens with allegation of violence

A city man chose his victim, a crack-addicted sometimes prostitute, and then he took her to his apar

A city man chose his victim, a crack-addicted sometimes prostitute, and then he took her to his apartment and forcibly raped her, a prosecutor told a Schenectady County Court jury Tuesday.

The man’s defense attorney, however, asked the jury to keep an open mind, suggesting that the prosecution’s version of events wasn’t the correct one.

Richard Cridelle, 41, of Guilderland Avenue, is standing trial this week on one count of first-degree rape, a felony, along with second-degree unlawful imprisonment and third-degree assault, misdemeanors. Cridelle is accused of raping the woman early on May 27, 2010, at his Guilderland Avenue apartment. If convicted of the first-degree rape count, Cridelle faces up to 25 years in state prison.

Prosecutor Jessica Lorusso outlined the woman’s story to the jury, including witnesses Lorusso said would tell of the woman’s hysterical response in the minutes and hours after the attack. Lorusso also told the jury that Cridelle would have no choice but to argue that they had sex, but that it was consensual. DNA collected from the rape kit points directly at Cridelle, Lorusso said.

Cridelle’s attorney, Mark Gaylord, did not indicate the direction the defense would go in his opening, telling the jury he would save his arguments for the summations.

Cridelle and the victim, Lorusso told the jury, had known each other from earlier. She had purchased drugs from him. Cridelle asked her to have a drink with him. She got in his car and they went. But, Lorusso said, at his apartment Cridelle attacked her, hitting her and raping her. Before the attack, he gave her crack cocaine, which she smoked.

After the attack, Lorusso said, she began crying hysterically. Cridelle called her a cab to take her home. He also gave her $10 for the cab. She gave the money to the cab driver and was in the cab long enough to tell a passenger what had happened, Lorusso said. Then she got back out, leaving the money behind, choosing instead to walk home.

A friend saw her walking on Broadway near Congress Street, still crying hysterically. He drove her to near Veeder Avenue and Albany Street, where she again got out. She didn’t tell him of the rape.

Believing she needed medical attention, the friend flagged down a city police officer, who took her for treatment. It was at the hospital that she disclosed to medical personnel that she was raped, Lorusso said.

The trial is to continue Wednesday before acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino.

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