ST. THOMAS — A woman is in critical condition at Schneider Hospital after being raped and beaten, according to V.I. Police.
The victim was found lying in the roadway in Sub Base at 6:19 a.m. Sunday, according to police spokesman Toby Derima.
The discovery was reported to 911, and she was transported to Schneider Hospital for treatment, Derima said in a news release.
“The investigation revealed the victim was assaulted and raped,” Derima said. “The victim was listed in critical condition, due to the severity of the assault.”
Derima told The Daily News on Monday that the victim was unconscious, and investigators have not been able to interview her about the attack. Police have no leads or suspects at this time, and it’s unclear if a weapon was used in the assault.
It’s not the first time a woman was left near death on a St. Thomas road.
C’Quan Celestine, 26, is serving a 40-year prison sentence after he shot a woman in the face and left her for dead on Hull Bay Road in 2015.
Celestine was arrested a year later and convicted by a jury in May 2017 of second-degree attempted murder and related crimes. He was sentenced as a habitual offender because of previous convictions for violent crimes, and had been facing the possibility of life in prison.
The victim testified at trial that she was riding in a car with Celestine and two other men when they pulled over. Celestine demanded the woman perform oral sex and shot her in the face when she refused. The men drove off, and a couple who found the woman by the roadside got her medical assistance that saved her life.
The victim faced Celestine at sentencing and spoke directly to the man who nearly took her life.
“I am not afraid of you. I proved that by taking the stand, looking at you face to face, testifying in this courtroom,” the victim said. “I am a strong woman, a fighter,” she added, “you picked the wrong one to mess with ...”
Celestine appealed his conviction, arguing that the jury was unfairly prejudiced by a detective’s testimony about the meaning of Celestine’s teardrop tattoo.
The V.I. Supreme Court justices affirmed Celestine’s conviction in June, and wrote in an opinion that the detective’s “statements that Celestine’s tattoo meant that he was a murderer and that a witness was afraid of him should have been excluded by the trial judge, but they were a small part of the otherwise sufficient evidence against him.”
The latest case is under investigation. Anyone with information about the attack or other crimes is asked to call 911, or the Criminal Investigation Bureau at 340-774-2211 extension 5610.
, or make an anonymous report to Crime Stoppers USVI at 1-800-222-8477, where information can lead to a reward.