A Hudson Valley man attempted to rape a woman.

On Thursday in Orange County Court, 44-year-old Lionel Williams was convicted after a jury trial of attempted rape and two counts of tampering with physical evidence.

According to the Orange County District Attorney's Office, on Sept. 16, 2018, Williams sent a text message to a Port Jervis prostitute, arranging to meet her on West Main Street for a sexual encounter. Later, Williams texted the woman again and canceled the arrangement. Later, Williams went to the arranged location, where the woman had arrived. Williams followed the woman for several blocks, without her realizing it. Williams then grabbed her from behind, dragged her down an embankment near the Delaware River and attempted to rape her. Williams then fled the scene. Later, Williams deleted the relevant text messages from his phone and disposed of the clothing he had been wearing at the time of the crime.

“Sex crimes are despicable,” Orange County District Attorney David Hoovler said in a press release, “and no one, woman, man, or child, should be forced to endure them. My Office takes sex offenses very seriously, and we will seek significant, appropriate sentences for those who commit them."

Williams faces up to 15 years in prison for the attempted rape charge as well as possible consecutive sentences of two to four years in prison on each of the tampering with evidence charges.

Two days prior to the attempted rape, Williams was charged with raping a woman in Port Jervis. There's been no update on the rape allegation.

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