A Niskayuna man was convicted Thursday of raping a 19-year-old woman behind a pizza shop in Colonie last year, and he now faces up to life in prison, the Albany County District Attorney’s Office said.
The Albany County Court jury convicted Salam Al Haideri, 24, of predatory sexual assault and first-degree rape, both felonies.
The predatory sexual assault conviction carries with it a possible sentence of 25 years to life. The minimum is 15 years to life.
Al Haideri raped the woman June 2, 2013, in the area of Central Avenue and Vly Road.
During the attack, Al Haideri repeatedly slammed the victim’s face into the ground, officials said.
Afterward, the victim went to a nearby convenience store and told an employee she had just been raped. The victim suffered a fractured orbital bone, broken nose and ribs, officials said.
Police said Al Haideri offered the 19-year-old victim a ride home from North Pearl Street in Albany early that morning. They got as far as Central Avenue, where he pulled off the street and raped her.
Police zeroed in on Al Haideri after getting footage from a security camera at another gas station. That led them to a man who had been with Al Haideri and the victim earlier in the night. That man had nothing to do with the attack, but police used that link, as well as help from other agencies, to identify and arrest Al Haideri.
Al Haideri is to be sentenced May 16. He is to remain in custody without bail.