A Brooklyn lady “saw her whole life flash before her eyes” when she was allegedly raped by a livery cab driver final 12 months — a heinous assault that’s left her stripped of her innocence and feeling afraid of going out in public, her household says.
The sufferer, now 13, and her kinfolk relived the nightmare in an unique interview with The Post — as they filed a lawsuit towards three cab firms who they are saying shouldn’t have employed the alleged predator within the first place.
“I have anxiety when I get in a cab … it’s scary getting on a train. I don’t know who is who and if somebody is going to hurt me,” the lady, recognized in courtroom papers as RB, mentioned in a telephone interview.
RB was 12 years outdated when prosecutors say she was repeatedly raped by Rafael Martinez — who threatened her with a gun and beat her till she was unconscious earlier than the Aug. 10, 2020 assault within the backseat of his automotive.
“If you say anything, these bullets are for you,” Martinez allegedly instructed the lady, who was headed to her Bedford-Stuyvesant residence from her great-grandmother’s place in Fort Greene.
“If you tell anybody, I know where you live, I’ll come to get you and your family,” he additionally snarled, in keeping with a legal grievance.
Martinez pleaded not guilty to 11 counts of first-degree rape and different prices and is now free on bail, his lawyer mentioned — solely including to the lady’s trauma.
“I’ve been scared because the day that the incident happened, he said he was going to find me and kill me” if she mentioned something concerning the assault, the sufferer recalled.
The lady’s mother, Shareena Edwards, referred to as the horrifying ordeal “very, very painful.”
“She saw her whole life flash before her eyes,” Edwards mentioned. “She couldn’t breathe. She still fears.”
On Sunday, the teenager’s mother and great-grandmother filed swimsuit towards three automotive service firms claiming they didn’t correctly conduct a background test of Martinez — which they are saying would have revealed his prior conviction for patronizing a prostitute and that he wasn’t licensed with the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
“RB is still suffering from the horrific assault,” prices the swimsuit, filed in Brooklyn Supreme Court. “The psychological horror of that day will live with RB, her mother and grandmother forever.”
The grievance alleges that New Bell Car Service, Corp. — the corporate that the lady’s great-grandmother referred to as that day — violated TLC pointers when it “outsourced” the journey to a different firm, since-shuttered Evelyn Car Service, Inc., with out disclosing it to her.
RB’s great-grandmother Sarah Edwards Bey despatched the lady residence in a cab round 5 p.m. after giving her a fixer-upper bike that was inoperable and too heavy to lug on the subway, Edwards defined to The Post.
But an hour later, RB nonetheless hadn’t gotten residence, regardless of the roughly four-mile journey.
“I was impatient,” mentioned Edwards, 36, a mother of three. “It takes an hour to come here from downtown Brooklyn … I didn’t get a call from my daughter or anything.”
Frantic, Edwards and Bey started calling New Bell which instructed them they’d really used a driver from Evelyn Car Services for RB’s journey. Edwards then referred to as Evelyn Car Services, which reached out to the driver, she defined.
Two hours later, her daughter got here residence — clearly in shock and sobbing.
“I see my child at a loss for words,” Edwards mentioned. “I know something is wrong. I said ‘Did this person violate you?’ and she said, ‘Yes, he did.’”
The mother mentioned her daughter has had a “definite identity crisis” within the months after the assault — with the teenager at all times looking out for Martinez since his launch from jail.
“Now, she has a seriousness to her. I’m trying to get her back to being that happy kid,” Edwards mentioned, noting they each see a therapist.
The tragic lady instructed her mother she doesn’t need a Sweet 16 party — as a result of she feels she’s now not harmless and doesn’t deserve the celebration.
RB has additionally requested to take self-defense courses and even tried to placed on weight by consuming to make it more durable for her to be kidnapped. She additionally clothes in dishevelled clothes to cowl up her physique, the mother mentioned.
The incident has additionally deeply emotionally affected Edwards Bey.
“This incident has taken a big toll on my life, and I think about my decision to send my great granddaughter in that cab every day,” the 72-year-old lady mentioned. “I feel like certain family members think it’s my fault and I pray that God never lets this happen to another child.”
Martinez’ lawyer declined to touch upon the lawsuit.
New Bell didn’t return a request for remark. International Car Service — “a corporate alter ego of Evelyn Car,” the swimsuit says — couldn’t be reached for remark.
The household’s lawyer, Abe George, mentioned no amount of cash may “replace the innocence stolen from this child.”
“We hope that this lawsuit is a wake up call for livery cab bases to follow TLC rules and screen their drivers properly,” George mentioned in a press release.