Today’s news:

Woodside man admits raping Richmond Hill woman: DA

A former police officer from Woodside has pleaded guilty to raping a Richmond Hill woman 12 years ago, Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said.

Ronald Murgo, 38, admitted to first−degree rape Jan. 21. He faces between eight and 16 years in prison at his sentencing April 2, the DA said.

“The defendant had escaped justice for nearly a decade when a DNA sample he provided in connection with an unrelated prosecution proved his undoing. The sample was positively matched to DNA evidence obtained from his earlier victim’s rape kit,” Brown said in a statement. “Hopefully, this conviction will now bring closure to the victim of this horrific crime.”

Murgo was arrested in 2006 after a DNA test provided a match to the earlier crime.

At 3 a.m. on Nov. 6, 1996, Murgo broke into the residence of a then−21−year−old Howard Beach resident through a first−floor back window. He jumped on the victim’s bed, tied the woman’s hands with her own bra, placed a pillow over her head and told her to be quiet before sexually abusing and raping her.

Afterwards, Murgo stole jewelry and took cash from the victim’s wallet before fleeing out the front door.

The woman immediately called 911, Brown said. She was treated at a local Queens hospital and interviewed by detectives who submitted a rape kit for DNA testing.

A Queens County grand jury indicted the defendant as John Doe in February 2006 as part of the John Doe Indictment Project, a 2003 citywide initiative that uses DNA profiles of unidentified sex criminals to indict them before they are apprehended in case the statute of limitations expires before they are caught.

Reach reporter Jeremy Walsh by e−mail at jwalsh@timesledger.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 154.

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