Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story included the name of the victim. It has been removed from this version of the story.
Hartford police arrested the man suspected of beating and raping a 47-year-old woman on Saturday night.
The victim in the case contacted NBC Connecticut and recounted her experience.
“He said if I leave the room, that he was going to kill me,” the victim said.
With painful bruising and stiches on the right side of her face, the victim told NBC Connecticut she’s lucky to be alive after a terrifying night.
“He was switching hands to strangle me, so I would catch consciousness briefly. … I would be praying, ‘Please God in heaven, don’t let me go,’” she said.
According to the victim, she was raped and repeatedly beaten inside an abandoned home on Broad Street.
“He was tall. There was no way I could fight him. I tried. It was a wasted effort,” she said.
The victim said her attacker threatened to kill her if she left the house. However, she managed to find a way out by climbing through a window and then using the suspect’s cell phone to call for help.
When police arrived, they found the victim bloodied, on the ledge of the Broad Street house.
She was taken to a hospital, where she was treated for serious injuries to her face and head. She said she identified her attacker to police, who confirmed they made an arrest in the case on Sunday.
Police have charged Kenneth Maestas, 42, of Hartford, with the attack. Police say he is a convicted felon who has been arrested at least 12 times in the past, including unlawful restraint charges.
He was charged with sex assault with a firearm, strangulation, unlawful restraint and threatening in connection with this case. He is being held on a $500,000 bond and will be arraigned on Tuesday.
The victim said she wanted to share her story so that what happened to her doesn’t happen to other women.
“It was a crime of violence against a woman and we should be able to walk safely in the streets,” she said.