A Harrison man who brutally attacked a woman on Grace Church Street in Port Chester in 2011 has been sentenced to 10 years in state prison, according to the Westchester County District Attorney's Office.
Andrew R. Belle, 32, who lived on Francis Avenue in Harrison, was convicted by a Westchester County jury on sex abuse and assault charges for the 6 a.m. incident on Aug. 30, 2011 in which he jumped a 26-year-old woman was who on the way to the Port Chester train station. Upon his release from prison, Belle must register as a sex offender and will also be on post-release supervision for 10 years.
Belle was accused of attacking the victim from behind in front of 20 Grace Church St. The victim screamed as Belle grabbed her breasts, and Belle then covered the victim’s mouth and pinched her nostrils so she could not breathe.
As the victim struggled to get free and gasp for air, Belle struck the victim on the back of the head with a beer bottle, causing extensive bleeding. The victim was then dragged to a nearby alley, where Belle slammed her head against a brick wall four times and sexually assaulted the victim.
The victim’s cries for help were heard by nearby witnesses who then came to her aid. Belle ran away from the scene with eyewitnesses in pursuit, and was cornered in a rear patio of a restaurant at 40 Grace Church St.
Port Chester police said a village employee operating a street sweeper saw the attack and contaced police. The worker then made a u-turn to go back to the scene of the attack and got out of the sweeper to help the victim.
A woman walking just ahead of the victim also witnessed the attack and called police for help.
The village worker chased Belle and police caught up with him at the restaurant, where Belle was hiding by a refrigerator.
The victim was taken to the hospital for treatment of her injuries and was able to meet with police that night to help with the investigation. The victim also testified in the trial.
Belle, who did not testify, maintained that he did not commit the crime.
Port Chester police said the incident was a lone occurence and was not connected with any other crimes in the area.
Belle was convicted of:
- one count of Sexual Abuse in the First Degree, a class “D” Felony,
- two counts of Assault in the Second Degree, class “D” Felonies,
- one count of Assault in the Third Degree, a class “E” Felony,
- one count of Criminal Obstruction of Breathing or Blood Circulation, a class “A” Misdemeanor.
Second Deputy District Attorney Patricia Murphy, Chief of the Superior Court Trial Division, and Assistant District Attorney Joyce Miller of the Sex Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case.