POLKCE BEAT

DA indicts homeless man for rape, kidnap

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A homeless Bronx man has been indicted, accused of kidnapping a woman and raping her over five days in an abandoned building in Kingsbridge.

Timothy Harnett, also known as Timothy Lawless, was arraigned on three counts of kidnapping and rape, four counts of a criminal sexual act, sexual abuse, attempted sex trafficking, attempted sexual assault and assault.

Harnett, according to Bronx District Attorney Darcel Clark, held a 28-year-old woman captive for days between April 29 and May 2, raping and beating her with a tire iron.

“The victim managed to escape with the help of a passerby,” Clark said, in a release. “The defendant has been indicted on multiple charges for terrorizing this woman.”

The 44-year-old homeless man also is accused of threatening to kill the woman if she tried to escape. On May 2, Harnett reportedly left the building to go to a nearby laundromat. While he was gone, the woman used the tire iron to break a window, and then used the glass shards to cut the restraints on her feet.

She waved down a passerby who called 911 while stopping a nearby by New York Police Department patrol car.

Clark says she believes Harnett may have had other victims.

Anyone who believes they also had run-ins with Harnett — or knows someone who did — can call Clark’s human trafficking unit at (718) 838-6535. 

Harnett — who goes by several aliases, including “Lawless” — is on the state sex offenders registry list, according to published reports.

He had served part of an 18-year prison in a state penitentiary for rape, according to the same report. At the time, Harnett provided an address on Creston Avenue in Fordham Manor.

Expected to prosecute the case is Assistant District Attorneys Johnathan Vega and Siobhan McHale, under the supervision of human trafficking unit chief Stephen Knoepfler. Vega works in Knoepfler’s department, while McHale is part of the child abuse/sex crimes bureau.

The entire legal team will be led by Adrienne Giunta and Joseph Muroff from Clark’s special victims division.

Anyone who believe they may be a victim of human trafficking can call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at (888) 373-7888, or the Bronx District Attorney’s crime victims assistance unit at (718) 590-2115.