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Man charged in Niagara Falls rape, stabbing has felony convictions

The man accused of raping and stabbing a woman and leaving her to die in a Niagara Falls basement is a twice-convicted felon, according to state records and Buffalo News archives.

Eduardo E. Rodriguez, 25, who is being held in jail without bail, was arrested Tuesday after police said he checked himself into Erie County Medical Center for psychiatric care.

Rodriguez has prior convictions for two burglaries – in Niagara County in 2015 and in Erie County from 2011 – and was released on parole in November after completing his sentence, according to the state Department of Corrections and Community Supervision.

Police charged Rodriguez after a woman told police he raped her in a 10th Street apartment and then stabbed her after pushing her down basement stairs. That’s where police said they believe she was left to die.

She escaped from the basement, according to police, by propping a ladder against the window and then teetered to Niagara Falls Memorial Medical Center, which was just down the block.

The victim, a 27-year-old Niagara Falls woman, was listed in stable condition Thursday in Erie County Medical Center, police said.

Rodriguez, who faces first-degree rape and first-degree assault charges, has been living in the Falls since at least 2014, police said.

In June 2015, Rodriguez was sentenced in Niagara County Court to four years in prison and five years of post-release supervision for breaking into a house on Niagara Avenue in the Falls in November 2014. At his sentencing, he faced a mandatory prison sentence because it was his second felony conviction, according to Buffalo News archives.

His 2011 conviction in Erie County was for third-degree burglary. He was arrested with two other men and charged with stealing copper pipes from a home on Columbus Parkway on Buffalo's West Side in September 2010, according to a Buffalo police report.

In addition to those cases, Rodriguez also faced misdemeanor assault and criminal obstruction of breathing charges, as well as harassment, stemming from a domestic incident in April 2013 in Buffalo, according to a city police report. He pleaded guilty to the harassment violation, according to a Buffalo City Court representative.

The latest ordeal began shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday when the woman staggered in the front door of Niagara Falls Memorial, police said.

The woman told a guard she had been held hostage in a house near the hospital. The guard followed a blood trail to a house across the street from the hospital and directed police to that building.

[Related: Police: Woman survives rape, stabbing after being left to die in Niagara Falls]

At the house at 518 10th St., between Walnut and Ferry avenues, officers found a broken basement window with blood both outside and inside on the sill. A search of the building turned up no other occupants, police said.

Police later executed a search warrant on the premises and secured evidence, about which no information was publicly disclosed. Rodriguez lived in a second-floor apartment, according to police.

Detectives were not able to interview the victim that night because of her condition. She had been transferred to ECMC, where she was placed in a medically induced coma.

Investigators interviewed her Monday night. She told them she knew Rodriguez, who she said had invited her to his apartment Saturday night.

The victim told police Rodriguez took her into a bedroom and raped her. After the rape, she started walking downstairs to leave through a back door.

When she got close to the door, Rodriguez pushed her down the basement stairs, she told police.

In the basement, the victim was stabbed “all over her body,” police said. When she screamed, Rodriguez punched her in the face and head, she told detectives.

Hospital staff considered several of her stab wounds to be “severe,” police said.

Rodriguez was arrested Tuesday morning at ECMC. Police said they learned his location after finding out he was on parole.

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