A Guyanese immigrant was arrested in New York for the brutal rape and murder of a defenseless 92-year-old woman. However, in a disturbing attempt to dismiss his actions, he told investigators why he believed it was actually all his family’s fault.
Reeaz Khan was charged with the murder and sexual abuse of a 92-year-old Queens woman. Khan moved to New York from Guyana after coming to the U.S. a few years ago. However, the 22-year-old immigrant wouldn’t have been on the street if New York were not a sanctuary city, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said.
Months prior to the murder, ICE issued a detainer against Khan after he got arrested for attacking his father with a broken ceramic mug. Local police ignored the hold and released Khan, WPIX reports. Unfortunately, it was only a matter of weeks before authorities realized that they were protecting a dangerous killer at the expense of their own citizens.
Just after midnight, Khan viciously attacked 92-year-old Maria Fuertes while the elderly woman was sifting through a pile of garbage bags in South Richmond Hills. Surveillance video captured the pair falling to the ground before Khan disappeared with his helpless victim behind a car as he reportedly raped her for four stomach-churning minutes, according to the New York Daily News.
Fuertes was found barely clinging to life on the sidewalk, having been strangled and sexually brutalized. She was rushed to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center with a fractured spine, broken ribs, vaginal lacerations, and internal hemorrhaging. She later died from her injuries, and police began the hunt for her killer.
When Khan was arrested, he changed his story numerous times, initially claiming that he had merely stumbled upon the dying woman and that he “would never hurt an elderly woman” because he loves his own grandmother too much.
“As I walked down the sidewalk I saw someone, a lady on the floor to the side of me,” Khan said. “I should have kept walking and just not helped but it’s in my heart to help. I got scared and so I tried to grab her and push her up but she hit me with her arms and I fell back. I was so scared I didn’t know what to do… I just ran home and left.”
However, police soon connected Khan directly to Fuertes’ sexual assault, finding his DNA on his victim. Disturbingly, Khan first denied any sexual contact before ultimately claiming that his belt buckle broke and “his pants feel down and his penis fell near her vagina.”
“It’s impossible for my DNA to be inside her because I never touched her like that. Why would I touch a 92 year old woman?” Khan said. “I have a girlfriend and have had sex with other women.”
Khan’s last desperate attempt to claim his innocence came with a confession and justification for his heinous crimes. He explained that he did rape and murder the elderly pensioner but only because he held pent-up anger toward his family for being “abused his whole life,” according to law-enforcement sources. Unfortunately for him, detectives weren’t buying his excuse.
“He was angry at his father and [claimed] his brothers never liked him,” law-enforcement sources said. “He gets uncontrollable urges, but he never acted out on it. This was the first time.”
Thomas Decker, who serves as the NY field office director for ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations, explained that if police had honored the active detainer against Khan, Fuertes would still be alive.
“It is made clear that New York City’s stance against honoring detainers is dangerously flawed,” Decker said. “It was a deadly choice to release a man on an active ICE detainer back onto the streets after his first arrest included assault and weapon charges, and he now faces new charges, including murder.”
Reeaz Khan was charged with several counts of murder and sex abuse and was booked at the 106th Precinct. A spokeswoman with the mayor’s office confirmed that the city has now decided to cooperate with federal officials if Khan is convicted.
Maria Fuertes’ family believe their promise is too little too late. It’s inarguable that if the police had worked with federal officials the first time Khan was arrested, an innocent grandmother would still be alive. Unfortunately, this is the case far too often in sanctuary cities.