The notice of appearance was issued on June 14th, 2019 but Gasana failed to comply to appear in court. Missing a court hearing is punishable by a court warrant of arrest of the suspect.
The notice read “This is a civil action alleging rape in the first degree, in violation of N.Y.S Penal law 130.35, and crimes of violence motivated by gender. You are hereby summoned to answer the complaint in this action within 20 days or within 30 days if this summon is not personally delivered to you within the state of New York.”
Steven Cash, the counsel for the defence announced that the defendant has failed to appear in court since he was summoned in 2019. The court resorted to publishing the notice in newspapers and other media in the United States.
Gasana is accused of raping a twenty-one-year-old college student who was serving as an intern at the Permanent Mission of Rwanda to the United Nations. The incident happened in 2014 during the time Gasana was serving as Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations in New York City.
The 57-year-old suspect allegedly raped the victim twice on separate dates between June and July 2014 as formulated in the complaint. The victim reported that Gasana invited her at the Millennium Hilton Hotel and at One UN Plaza where he lured her to his room after lying to her that they were going to the conference room.
When they reached the room, Gasana reportedly raped the girl but she did not alert the authorities immediately because she feared Gasana would hurt her or her family in Rwanda.
Weeks after the first rape, Gasana repeated the crime on July 11th, 2014.
Gasana served as the Permanent Representative of Rwanda to the United Nations in New York City until 2016 and was recently granted citizenship in the United States.
Under New York Penal Code section 130.35, one is charged with rape in the first degree when they engage in sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion, a person who is physically helpless or sexual intercourse with a child who is less than 13 if the suspect is at least 18.
Penalties for first degree rape range between 5 and 25 years of imprisonment. Convicts are eligible for not less than 10 years of community service. Convicts are also required to register as sex offenders in the state’s registry for 20 years or for life.