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Rape New York

Jana Leo

Publication Year: 2011

Your front door lock is broken and your landlord doesn’t give a damn. And someone gets in and rapes you. Jana Leo’s exploration of the public and private spaces in Rape New York merges the vulnerability of the city with that of the body itself. A text that touches on urban planning, gentrification, slumlords, as well as rape and its physical, emotional, and legal repercussions.

Published by: The Feminist Press

Title Page

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A Nonviolent Rape

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A Nonviolent Rape

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pp. 3-24

He entered my apartment. When I saw him cross the threshold between the corridor and my apartment, closing the door behind him, I realized that my everyday life was over. This was not a day like any other, this was the end, the last day of my life, or at least the last day of my present life...

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How an Uneventful Day and Place Became Eventful

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pp. 25-27

After waking up tired for several days, I decided to go to the doctor. My boyfriend A recommended one he had used. My body ached, especially my feet and hands. I had reasons to be physically exhausted. I’d finished my thesis that summer, then packed all of the things we had accumulated during our...

Before and After a Nonviolent Rape

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How I Left Harlem

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pp. 31-35

As soon as the rapist turned his back and stepped out of my apartment, I slammed the door shut, not caring where he went, then went into the living room and picked up the telephone. The red power light was on, but there was no tone. After pressing all the buttons, I looked inside the phone where the batteries were...

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How I Had Ended Up in Harlem

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pp. 36-47

On my first night in Princeton, I cried nonstop. The humid atmosphere made it feel like a suburban rainforest, too green and too clean for me. I had arrived late in the evening at the end of August 1997 with my boyfriend A, and a yellow suitcase, to live out his dream rather than my own. During my three long years in...

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How I Lost the Feeling of Being at Home

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pp. 48-55

As I was on my way to pick up mail from my old apartment a couple of weeks after the rape, I thought I saw my assailant in the corner grocery store. Detective M told me this was normal, and that though I might be certain I was seeing him in many places, I would be wrong. On a Saturday afternoon a few weeks...

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How and Why I Started a Lawsuit Against My Landlord

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pp. 56-68

On the day following the attack, I was in the Police Archive on Amsterdam Avenue looking at mug shots, in the hope I might identify the rapist. The process seemed endless and senseless to a degree, because the selection was based on my estimation of the attacker’s age. I could remember his features, but wasn’t certain of his...

The Criminal Procedure and the Civil Lawsuit

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How the Assailant Was Caught

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pp. 71-81

I didn’t know anything about Detective S at that time. Here I’ll use a summary of his career made by someone else: “. . . In 1995 he requested a transfer to the Manhattan Special Victims Squad where he began specializing in investigating violent sex crimes. In 2001 he created and initiated a program that allowed him...

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“Domestophobia” and PrisonLand

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pp. 82-97

When I learned that the assailant had been convicted and sentenced, my mind went back to when this man was in my apartment. I remembered fast-forwarding, searching for anything that could give me a clue to what he wanted. Bits of data flashed through my mind: one out of ten men in the US is or will be in prison...

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How the Assailant Was Convicted For Two Rapes

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pp. 98-110

In the autumn of 2003, I informed M I would probably press charges against the rapist, but didn’t know exactly when. I needed to think about it further before proceeding and asked her to let me get back to her in a few months with my decision. She was afraid that if I didn’t act right after the arrest, I never would. While...

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The Civil Lawsuit For Improper Security

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pp. 111-122

In response, the defendant claimed that I had let the attacker into my apartment, and that the injury was therefore a result of my own negligence. Their argument was simply that I didn’t close the door behind me immediately but first dropped the groceries I’d been carrying and then went back to close the door. My argument...

Defeated by New York

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One of New York’s“Ten Worst Landlords” Faces Federal Charges

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pp. 125-129

In January 2007, just a few months after the settlement of my civil lawsuit, my original landlord was brought to justice for using a false social security number on a multimillion dollar loan and failing to pay taxes. In the New York Post, he was referred to as “one of the city’s worst landlords,” and was reported to have spent nearly...

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Defeated by New York, or, Why I Came to New York

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pp. 130-139

I grew up watching American movies in Spain. Until I was thirteen my country was ruled by the fascist dictator General Franco. What I saw of other countries was limited by censorship. Movies on TV were either Spanish comedies, or American movies. The Spanish films—low-budget and mundane—vaguely reinforced...

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pp. 141-142

Rape New York describes my experience of being held and raped in my apartment, then chronicles the events of the following six years. Through my comments on these facts, Rape New York examines and reflects on what I consider to be a culture of predation and its crux, the city of New York...

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pp. 143-144

I’d like to thank Rajneesh Jhawar, who, without meeting, made a generous contribution toward the cost of preliminary edits on this text. I am grateful to many friends for their collaborations as readers and editors: to Adeola Enigbokan for her enthusiastic exchange of ideas, to Gearoid Dolan for his unwavering...

E-ISBN-13: 9781558616820
Print-ISBN-13: 9781558616813

Page Count: 151
Publication Year: 2011