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Man indicted for trying to sexually assault East Village woman inside her home

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | A grand jury today indicted a man accused of forcing his way into an East Village woman’s home and trying to sexually assault her.

Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg announced the indictment of Vertrell Dunham, 26, for following a 20-year-old woman to her Alphabet City apartment, pushing past her at her door, strangling her and attempting to sexually assault her.

The Village Sun was the first to report the incident, which occurred on E. Ninth Street, just east of Tompkins Square Park, on March 19 shortly after 5 p.m.

Dunham, who lives in Queens, is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment with burglary in the first degree as a sexually motivated felony, attempted criminal sexual act in the first degree, strangulation in the second degree, and attempted sexual abuse in the first degree.

“Women deserve to walk home without fearing that they are being followed or that they will be sexually assaulted,” Bragg said. “As alleged, Vertell Dunham pushed past a young woman after trailing her to her building under the guise of needing medical care, before strangling her and attempting to sexually assault her. Thank you to our partners at the N.Y.P.D. for their quick action arresting the defendant later the same day — as he attempted to follow a college student into her residence hall.”

According to court documents and statements made on the record, Dunham followed the young woman home on the afternoon of March 19, jumping over the fence in front of her East Village apartment building. Dunham then pushed past her into her apartment without permission, showed her a cut on his finger, and asked if he could use her sink to rinse the cut. Unsure what to do, the woman offered Dunham a bandage. As she went to get it, Dunham approached her with his pants down, started strangling her and attempted to sexually assault her. The woman fought back and forced Dunham out of the apartment, slamming the door behind her, and then calling 911.

Dunham was later arrested as he allegedly followed a college student into her residence hall. The D.A.’s Office did not immediately provide details on which college the residence hall belongs to or its location.

Assistant D.A. Sarah Lubin is handling the prosecution of the case under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Nicole Blumberg (chief of the Intimate Partner & Sexual Violence Bureau) and Executive Assistant D.A. Justin McNabney (chief of the Special Victims Division).

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