Hike sentence

‘Despicable acts of violence’: Derby Greenway rapist sentenced to 13 years in prison

MILFORD – A judge has sentenced a Waterbury man to 13 years in prison for raping a 75-year-old woman on the Derby Greenway in 2019.

Artay Drinks, 49, pleaded guilty in the case in November to charges of first-degree sexual assault, third-degree assault of a victim over 60, third-degree robbery and burglary in the third degree.

The sentence imposed by Judge Peter Brown – which carries the sex offender record to life – had been agreed upon by the victim, prosecutors, Drinks and his lawyer.

And while the judge, after hearing moving testimony from the victim’s family and a statement of remorse from Drinks himself, noted his belief that everyone is capable of redemption, he said it was impossible to look beyond the shocking nature of the crime.

“It is clear to me that what happened on November 2, 2019 was despicable acts of violence and violations of (the victim’s) human dignity,” Brown said.

The victim was not in court Wednesday, but one of his daughters read a statement on his behalf.

She said she had attended a grandson’s baseball game earlier that ‘beautiful, crisp, sunny fall day’ before deciding to take a walk on the greenway, as she often did.

She said she had seen Drinks before the attack and felt he was not there to walk around.

“The man was a predator. He has made the greenway his hunting ground. And I was his easy prey, an elderly person,” the victim said.

The drinks pushed her to the ground from behind, pinning her to the ground, fracturing both her wrists and burying her face in the leaves on the ground.

“I kept saying ‘please don’t hurt me, I can’t breathe’,” the victim said. “I couldn’t move. I couldn’t fight him.

She said he searched her pockets and stole her car keys, asking where she parked.

“I thought it was over and he would leave before any other walkers approached the area,” she said. “I was wrong. He violently pulled down my pants and committed one last indignity, and raped me.

Police identified Drinks as a suspect in the rape after linking him to other crimes in the lower Naugatuck Valley, including a burglary at St. Peter and St. Paul’s Ukrainian Catholic Church hours later.

Westport Police arrested Drinks two days after the rape for theft. Derby Police questioned Drinks at Westport Police Station, where he confessed.

The rape victim underwent multiple surgeries on her wrists and said she also had to deal with the possibility of having HIV, in addition to the long-term psychological effects of the attack.

“Memories haunt my days and nightmares torment my sleep,” the victim said. “I was deprived of my life as I knew it. My sunset years were meant to be filled with peace, wonder, and joy. Instead, they were replaced by fear, anxiety, and trauma.

Assistant State’s Attorney Howard Stein called the attack “particularly gruesome.”

The prosecutor cited letters written by Drinks’ daughter and ex-wife drawing attention to his mental health and addiction issues. He contrasted the defendants’ backgrounds with a “horrendous” upbringing with Drinks, who attended Staples High School in Westport, a prep school, and is just a few credits away from graduating with a bachelor’s degree.

“He got all these opportunities that so many people didn’t get,” Stein said, calling the 13-year sentence “charitable” in light of the victim’s desire to close the case.

Drinks’ attorney Jamie Alosi said the case was “a very sad situation”.

“There’s nothing I or my client can say to make things better” for the victim and his family, she said, while noting that Drinks confessed to cops when questioned after his death. arrest.

“None of us are the worst thing we’ve ever done, we all have more to do,” she said. “But the amount of regret my client expressed each time I visited him while he was incarcerated is not going to change that for this family.”

She read a letter from Drinks saying he “sincerely apologized” to the victim and the court.

“I hope the victims in this case find the courage in their hearts to forgive me as I try to make amends for the mistakes I made. I am remorseful and ashamed,” Drinks’ letter said, adding that he was “medicating” himself with drugs after his parents died at the time of the attack.

“I intend to atone for my behavior and ask for mercy from the court and, in time, forgiveness from the victim,” the letter reads.

In brief remarks, Drinks said he was “really sorry.”

The judge said he sincerely believed everyone who came before him to be sentenced was capable of redemption, but said the 13-year sentence was “completely appropriate” given the facts of the case.

“There can be many explanations for why people do what they do, but when you hurt someone, like you’re raping someone as badly as you did in this case, there’s no There’s simply no excuse in the opinion of this court,” Brown said before. imposing the 20-year suspended sentence after serving 13 drinks, followed by 10 years probation.