A man charged with raping a woman in 2005 is now accused of killing her by slashing her throat because she had agreed to testify against him.What's almost as tragic as this woman's death is the fact that the criminal justice system failed to protect her after she was threatened. There have been many cases across the country where the murder victim has received death threats and the person sending the threats has been allowed to remain at large until they made their threats a reality.
Natasha Ramen, 20, was attacked Thursday just outside her home in Queens, suffering a "very deep wound, almost from ear to ear," said police Lt. Salvatore Salerno. "It was very brutal." Hemant Megnath, 29, a fellow Guyanese immigrant, was arrested Tuesday on charges of murder and criminal possession of a weapon. Authorities said he was working for a real estate broker and she met him while apartment hunting. In May 2005, he lured her into his apartment and raped her, according to authorities.
In 2006, Megnath also was charged with making threats against Ramen and her family in retaliation for the rape allegation, police said. A pretrial hearing had been set for April 9.
When rape victims come forward they face two risks -- additional violence or public disbelief or both. We have to do better.
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