Schenectady County

Schenectady man gets 20 years for raping prostitute

Richard Cridelle was described as a menace shortly before being sentenced to 20 years in state priso

Richard Cridelle selected his rape victim precisely because he knew who she was: a crack-addled prostitute.

The woman knew Cridelle, 42, and had purchased drugs from him before. She followed him to his Guilderland Avenue apartment in late May 2010, thinking she was going to have a drink with him and smoke some crack. Once there, however, Cridelle abruptly turned violent.

During the course of the evening, Cridelle attacked and raped the woman, then called a cab to take her home. Instead, the shaken woman ended up at a hospital, disclosing to medical personnel that she had been raped.

Cridelle was convicted of the rape during a weeklong trial in April. On Friday, acting Schenectady County Court Judge Richard Giardino described him as a menace shortly before handing him a 20-year term in state prison, with 10 years of post-release supervision.

Prosecutor Jessica Lorusso had asked for the maximum 25-year term, but was pleased nonetheless with Giardino’s sentence. She also agreed with the judge’s characterization of Cridelle as a menace — he now has five felony convictions.

“His criminal history reveals that,” she said following the sentencing.

Giardino also denied a motion by the defense to set aside the verdict. Cridelle’s attorney had argued that the jury discussed matters related to the trial without all jurors present.

Cridelle’s victim made a brief and emotional statement to the court, admonishing her attacker for what he had done that night. Worse yet, she said, Cridelle was a friend whom she trusted.

After the attack, the woman abandoned the cab Cridelle called for her and gave the driver the $10 he had given her to take it home. Later, a friend saw her walking on Broadway near Congress Street, crying hysterically.

The man drove her to an area near Veeder Avenue and Albany Street, where she again got out. Believing she needed medical attention, the friend flagged down a city police officer, who took her for treatment.

Cridelle testified the woman acknowledged she was plying her trade on the night in question and said their encounter was consensual. He reaffirmed this notion during a brief statement to the court Friday, questioning why he was standing before the judge.

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