By KIRAN SURY & ZINA PASCHAL
The undocumented immigrant charged with raping a woman in the East Village last month pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to charges of rape, burglary, strangulation and criminal sex act in Manhattan Supreme Court.
Fermin Flores, 32, allegedly stalked the woman, 21, as she walked home early on Jan. 13 and forced her inside her East 7th Street apartment where he raped her.
Flores, a Mexican citizen, wore a white t-shirt and gray sweatpants at the arraignment where he spoke through an interpreter. His lawyer Roger Asmar, said that Flores knew the victim but that no rape occurred.
“They knew each other and they worked together,” Asmar said. “There is no denial that they had sex but there was no force.”
Flores was arrested on Jan 14 after police showed a surveillance video in which the suspect was recognized by a building employee, authorities said.
The defendant was scheduled to return to court on March 11 for a pre-trial defense motion.