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Rapist who preyed on prostitutes, drug addicts gets 15 to life in prison

A serial rapist who attempted to bolt from the courtroom when one of his victims testified at his trial had nothing to say Tuesday morning before he was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.

Emmanuel L. Jenkins, 30, was sentenced for his three convictions for predatory sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual act and one count of rape. State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang also sentenced him to seven years on two counts of aggravated sexual abuse.

Jenkins stopped his trial after two victims – women who acknowledged that they had used drugs and worked as prostitutes – testified how they were threatened and assaulted.

In a surprising turn, he suddenly agreed to plead guilty to all the charges against him. Accepting the plea, Wolfgang also agreed that she would order his sentences – whatever she decided they would be – to run concurrently.

Although Jenkins could be eligible for parole in 15 years, Prosecutor Ryan Haggerty said prosecutors hope that he never gets out of prison.

He noted that the assaults were as calculated as they were cruel, information that will be forwarded to any parole board looking at Jenkins’ case.

“He looked for women who were vulnerable, who were isolated,” Haggerty told the judge before the sentencing. “He assumed his victims would never have the courage to report his crimes, and that they wouldn’t be believed if they did. But in defiance of this defendant’s cruelty and degradation, they summoned the strength to hold him accountable.”

During his trial, two women testified how Jenkins approached them on the street, gained their trust and invited them to “party.” Once he got them alone, he held them at knifepoint and repeatedly raped and sodomized them, they testified.

One returned to court Tuesday to make a statement.

“The main reason I wanted to address the court this morning is for my three girls and for other women who are scared to come forward when this happens to them,” she told the judge. She said she still suffers the effects of the assault, but that good things are happening in her life as well.

“It’s been a long, hard road,” she said. “I didn’t think I was going to walk out of that room (where she was raped) alive, but I did. I’m here today.”

Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. credited the work of Buffalo Police detectives Jacqueline S. Sullivan and Natalie Perez, who believed in the victims and built the case against Jenkins.

After the assaults, Jenkins began living in rail tunnels near Canalside. He was arrested on a trespassing charge by CSX Railroad Police Aug. 21 when he ignored orders to leave one of the tunnels.

At police headquarters, Jenkins was identified as the man wanted in the sexual assaults, which took place in vacant buildings on the upper West Side in May and June of 2015. DNA results later confirmed Jenkins was the attacker, prosecutors said.

email: mmiller@buffnews.com