A Flatiron district building superintendent has been indicted on charges of raping, sexually abusing and assaulting an undocumented immigrant from Paraguay.
The survivor worked as a cleaner in a Flatiron building where 62-year-old Jose Espinoza was the superintendent. Espinoza, over the course of six years, allegedly threatened and coerced the victim to prevent her from leaving, according to a press release from the Manhattan District Attorney’s office.
Espinoza was charged with one count of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree criminal sexual acts, one count of second-degree aggravated sexual abuse, three counts of labor trafficking and two counts of third-degree assault.
According to court documents, Espinoza in 2017 allegedly offered the survivor, who also has a special needs child, money in exchange for sex and employment cleaning apartments.
However, in 2018, Espinoza allegedly began to physically assault and control the survivor. He demanded explicit photographs to track her whereabouts, ripped her passports and threatened to share a naked photograph of her daughter if she defied his orders. Espinoza allegedly forced
the survivor to have sex with him in front of her daughter.
The survivor, diagnosed with breast cancer in spring 2022, disclosed the abuse to a social worker at Bellevue Hospital after months of treatment. She started bringing personal belongings to the hospital during appointments.
When the survivor deemed it safe to approach law enforcement, the NYPD was notified, leading to Espinoza’s arrest in December 2023.
The investigation uncovered additional controlling actions taken by the defendant, such as Espinoza using a camera to monitor a piggy bank containing the survivor’s earnings and tracking her location through the “Find my Friends” app on his phone.