New York City A man who dressed in firefighter's gear to bluff his way into a co-worker's apartment on Halloween night and then sexually tortured her over 13 hours was sentenced Monday to 20 years to life in prison.
Peter Braunstein, 43, stood before the judge and provided his take about what happened, saying he had a death wish as he carried out the attack in Manhattan and other crimes while on the lam in Ohio and Tennessee.
"I just thought I would see America and die; you know, have the cops shoot me to death," Braunstein said. He was convicted in May for kidnapping, robbing and sexually abusing the ex-colleague at Fairchild publications, parent of Women's Wear Daily and W magazine.
Dressed as a firefighter, Braunstein set fires in the hallway outside his victim's Manhattan apartment as a ruse to gain access inside her home on Halloween 2005. He then drugged her, tied her to a bed, stripped her naked, and videotaped her.
Braunstein's attorney argued that his client was so mentally ill that he was incapable of forming the intent to commit the crime and therefore should not be held criminally responsible.