CRIME

Yera Basnueva charged with rape, assault

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ROCKVILLE, Md. (WJLA) - A brazen crime in Montgomery County sent several officers to Rockville Town Square Monday.

It happened at the Mr. Smoothie at 33 Maryland Avenue around 9:30 a.m.
A store employee had to fight off her attacker after he came out of the restroom with his pants down.

Even more unusual, the crime took place when many people were heading to work.

"At one point [the suspect] asked to use the bathroom and when he exited the restroom, his pants were down and that's when he started to attack the store employee," said Montgomery County Police Spokesperson Rebecca Innocenti.

Shaken after her frightening ordeal, store owner Emran Qureshi says his employee is doing OK. Meanwhile, 31-year-old Yera Basnueva is being held without bond. His arrest came quickly since surveillance cameras caught him in the act.

"He was transported and charged with attempted first-degree rape and second-degree assault for the physical assault," said Innocenti.

Montgomery County resident Jackee Granados frequently stops by the popular retail and dining spot and said this type of crime is unusual.

"Usually it seems really family-friendly and there are a lot of business people around here, too, " said Granados.

Nancy Allyn works at a boutique jewelry shop just a few doors down from the Mr. Smoothie.

"It is disturbing that 9:30 in the morning, something like this could happen," said Allyn.

According to Qureshi, property management plans to provide more monitoring of stores in the area following the incident.

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