Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg today announced the sentencing of MICHAEL SANTIAGO, 35, to 20 years-to-life in state prison and lifetime post-release supervision for cutting a woman’s clothes off with a scalpel and raping her while she slept. On May 24, 2023, SANTIAGO was convicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury of Rape in the First Degree, Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, and Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree.
“A jury held Michael Santiago accountable for his horrific conduct: raping a woman who trusted him as she slept,” said District Attorney Bragg. “I thank the survivor and her son for their bravery in taking the stand, and the members of the jury for their service. Those who commit heinous crimes like this will be held accountable. If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, we are here to help: call 212-335-9373.”
As proven at trial, on July 9, 2021, the 30-year-old survivor fell asleep in her East Harlem apartment after drinking alcohol at a party. SANTIAGO, who she had known for many months and believed to be her friend, used a scalpel to cut her clothing off, and raped her on her bed while she was physically helpless. The victim’s 12-year-old son entered the apartment and witnessed the rape from the bedroom doorway. When he confronted SANTIAGO, SANTIAGO threatened him with the scalpel and continued to rape his mother. The child left the apartment and found an adult who intervened.
Assistant D.A.s Kirstie Raffan and Cory Robinson handled the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A.s Vanessa Puzio and Katelyn Flatley (Deputy Chiefs of the Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Bureau), and Nicole Blumberg (Chief of the Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Bureau), and Executive Assistant D.A. Justin McNabney (Chief of the Special Victims Division). Special Victims Detective Investigators Evelyn Gutierrez and Jose Morales, and Special Victims Investigative Analyst Desiree Marks and Trial Preparation Assistants Tyler Friedman and Leila Jiadi were also integral members of the prosecution team, as was Shira Arnow (former Assistant D.A. and Deputy Chief of Trial Bureau 30).
D.A. Bragg thanked NYPD Detective Alfred Ortiz of the Manhattan Special Victims Squad for his work on the investigation.
New York, NY
- Rape in the First Degree, a class B felony, one count
- Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class D felony, one count
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, one count
- 20 years-to-life in state prison
- Lifetime post-release supervision