A bail hearing for a Brooklyn teen accused of raping and robbing a woman ended in shock and outage after he was freed on $17,000 bail in Queens Criminal Court. “When my lawyer told me he got bail, I was so speechless,” the 50-year-old victim told New York’s Daily News. Prosecutors had originally requested Judge Michael Katz to hold 17-year-old Donovan Fenton without bail for a string of offenses, including two other unrelated robberies and an assault charge. For these crimes he would spend just three days in jail.
Fenton has eight previous arrests, including one for predatory sexual assault and robbery, according to the Queens news website QNS. He had committed two knife-point robberies less than two weeks before entering the woman’s discount store Saturday in Queens’ Richmond Hill neighborhood. According to police sources Fenton told the woman “Do what I say or I will kill you,” before forcing her into the store’s basement where he held a knife to her throat and raped and sodomized her. What Fenton didn’t realize is the woman had been on the phone with a friend who called police after hearing the woman cry out “Oh, my God, I'm gonna die!” Cops caught up to the violent sex fiend three blocks from the store.
When prosecutors determined Katz was intent on offering Fenton bail, they asked that it be set at $500,000. Katz, a civil court judge sitting on the bench in Queens Criminal Court for the day, instead set it at $5,000 for the alleged rape and $5,000 a piece for the two robbery charges. An extra $2,000 was added for a bench warrant related to a November assault charge. The final bail amount was just over 3% of what prosecutors had asked for. When asked by the Daily News about his decision, Katz replied: “I’m sure you know I’m not allowed to comment on any pending cases.”
City Councilman Eric Ulrich (R-Queens) called the comparatively low $17,000 bail "an outrage" said that "by allowing this dangerous man to walk freely on our streets, the court system has put New Yorkers in danger.” The victim now fears for her safety. “This makes me feel like I’m worth nothing as a woman,” she said. “That judge doesn’t have a heart.”