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Joseph McRae’s One Punch Shattered Intern’s Jaw in Two Places


(Bronx, NY – February 25, 2015) — He took a swing at an intern working with the Rikers Island mental health staff, and connected, breaking her jaw in two places.  Today, 25-year-old inmate JOSEPH McRAE has been sentenced to three years behind bars, following a plea earlier this month to Assault in the 2nd Degree (Class D Violent Felony), announces Bronx County District Attorney Robert T. Johnson.


STEPHANIE HOPE PROCELL was a clinical psychology student volunteering in the mental health observation unit of Rikers’ George R. Vierno Center on April 16th, 2014 when the 24-year-old McRAE hit her with a closed fist, fracturing her jaw in two places, as well as fracturing her eye socket and sinus. The victim’s injuries required surgery.


PROCELL gave a victim impact statement to the Court, presided over by Supreme Court Justice Nicholas J. Iacovetta.   Noting that she did not want to come to court to read the statement herself – “After spending the last 10 months dealing with pain and recovery…I decided not to give you another day of my life,” she asked the statement be read by Senior Trial Assistant D.A. Lisa Mattaway of the Bronx D.A. Intake Bureau, who prosecuted the case.


In her statement, Ms. Procell described the drastic measures that doctors used to put her face back together:  “I needed two steel plates inserted into my jawline to hold the bones together.  My jaw was completely wired shut for over five weeks to allow healing, after which I still could not eat solid food for three more weeks.”


Ms. Procell also described her continuing pain: “I still continue to have pain in my jaw and ears…and my jaw no longer opens and closes properly.”


The intern missed so many deadlines, it cost her a year of her schooling.


“I honestly do not know what incarcerating you for three more years will accomplish.  I can only hope that it gives you time to appreciate the gravity of your actions and that you use this time to take advantage of any treatment services that are allotted to you so that you do not harm anyone else in the future.”


McRae was being held at Rikers at the time on unrelated charges in a similar Manhattan incident during which he sucker-punched a woman at New York’s Penn Station last summer.  He took a plea to felony Assault in the 2nd Degree and a misdemeanor assault charge in that case.   His two-and-a-half year sentence will run consecutive to the three years in the Bronx case.  In addition, McRae waived his right to appeal, and once out, will be subject to three years post-release supervision.

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