LIC Man Charged for Following Woman From Bus and Raping Her

By Jonathan Sperling

A Long Island City man faces up to 25 years in prison for following a woman from a bus in Sunnyside and brutally raping her against a car, Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Wednesday.

Matthew Luna, 27, was charged with first-degree rape and first-degree criminal sexual act for the alleged incident, which occurred just after 10:30 p.m. on Feb. 15.

Prosecutors say that Luna boarded a bus and spotted the unidentified victim before following her when she got of the bus near the corner of 54th Street and Skillman Avenue.

After following the victim for a while, Luna allegedly approached her to ask for directions to a subway station, told her she was pretty and asked for a hug. As the victim tried to back away, Luna grabbed her arms and said, “Just give me what I want so I don’t have to kill you,” prosecutors said.

Luna allegedly struck the woman, shoved her against a parked car, ripped off her clothes from the waist down and sexually assaulted her. He proceeded to throw her to the ground where he raped her, prosecutors said.

“The defendant viciously attacked an unsuspecting woman shortly after she exited a bus in Sunnyside. This was a violent assault that should not have happened,” Brown said in a statement. “Every woman should feel safe — day or night — traveling throughout Queens County. The defendant is in custody and will be held accountable for his alleged actions.”

The victim was taken to the hospital, where she was treated and released. Luna was arrested shortly after turning himself into law enforcement officials on Feb. 18.

The defendant was arraigned on Tuesday night before Queens Criminal Court Judge Toni Cimino. Cimino remanded Luna and ordered him to return to court on March 15.