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Buffalo man pleads guilty in ‘horrific’ Fargo Avenue rape

An attacker who held a woman at knife point in her apartment while he raped her pleaded guilty in State Supreme Court to two felonies as jury selection was slated to begin in his trial.

Cornell Long, 29, of Potomac Avenue admitted to first-degree rape and first-degree burglary in connection with the July 23 break-in last year. At 3:30 in the morning that day, he entered the woman’s Fargo Avenue apartment through a living room window, picked up a knife from her kitchen and confronted her in her bedroom. Threatening to “slit her throat” if she resisted, he raped her repeatedly over several hours. He also struck her in the face, breaking her nose, and caused other injuries.

The woman eventually was able to flee, and ran to the store where she worked. The manager called 911 for help and Long was apprehended shortly afterward.

“This case exemplifies precisely why there aren’t ‘victims’ of sexual assault; there are survivors,” Acting District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty Jr. said. “The survivor in this case demonstrated incredible courage and poise, withstanding a brutal and horrific attack in her own apartment, and then having the wherewithal to flee to safety. By finding the courage not only to survive the attack, but to come forward and hold the rapist accountable, she has taken the power back.”

Flaherty praised the work of patrol officers Mark Tripp and Timothy O’Neill in capturing Long and preserving the evidence. Assistant District Attorney Ryan D. Haggerty is prosecuting the case.

Long also was arrested in February 2015 for mugging a woman and stealing her phone.

Justice Christopher J. Burns set sentencing for Aug. 23.