Modified: March 11, 2016 6:32pm
Acting Erie County District Attorney Michael J. Flaherty, Jr. announces that 30 year old Emmanuel Jenkins pleaded guilty today in the middle of his jury trial on an eight count indictment charging Jenkins with three counts of Predatory Sexual Assault, two counts of Criminal Sexual Act in the First Degree, one count of Rape in the First Degree and two counts of Aggravated Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree. Jenkins pleaded guilty to every count and faces a potential sentence of 50 years to life when he is sentenced April 26, 2016, 9:30 a.m. by State Supreme Court Justice Penny Wolfgang.
This plea comes the day after Jenkins bolted from the defense table and attempted to flee the courtroom before being stopped by court security. One of Jenkins’ victims was in the middle of her testimony against him, and was just about to identify to the jury one of the objects he had used to sodomize her, when Jenkins made his attempted escape.
On two separate dates over the summer of 2015, Jenkins stalked his victims in the Grant/Ferry neighborhood and lured them into abandoned buildings by offering them drugs. Once inside, Jenkins pulled a knife on each victim and demanded them to perform various sexual acts over the course of several hours, resulting in injury.
Each incident had a distinct pattern to the abuse, as well as a unique manner of sodomy. This pattern caught the attention of Buffalo Police Detective Jacqueline Sullivan, who discovered the link between the crimes. DNA evidence later confirmed that Jenkins was the perpetrator. Investigators believe that Jenkins targeted his victims because they were working as prostitutes to support their drug habits.
Acting DA Flaherty stated, “The courage and resilience of these women to come forward and hold their rapist accountable is simply amazing. This defendant preyed upon their isolation and vulnerability, believing either that they would never report his crimes, or that no one would believe them. Today, we have proved that law not only applies to everyone equally, it also protects everyone equally.” Flaherty points out that these crimes are yet another example of the scourge of heroin and opioid abuse.
Flaherty made special mention of the investigative efforts of Detective Jacqueline Sullivan and Detective Natalie Perez of the Buffalo Police Department.
The case was successfully prosecuted by ADA Ryan Haggerty and ADA Bethany Solek of the Special Victims Bureau.