‘RAPIST,’ 16, BEGS MERCY (Bid for juvenile trial)

New York Post/Laura Italiano

A young woman woke up in her Central Park West sublet in July 2007 to find her fire-escapewindow open and two 15 year old boys standing over her bed.  One of them was pointing ahandgun at her head.  Over the next few hours, the boys took turns raping the bound, gaggedand terrified woman.  The left, taking her laptop,cellphone, iPod, digital cameras and creditcards.  Now the boy with the gun, Steven Vasquez , according to DNA and his own policeconfession, is hoping for a break.  His lawyer says his client is mentally retarded due tochildhood lead exposure and wants him tried in Family Court as a juvenile.  Lead paint in theWest129th Street home he grew up in left him so brain damaged he is unable to read.  Tried asan adult in Manhattan state Supreme court, Vasquez faces a likely maximum sentence of 10 years,most of which would be served in a state facility once he turns 18. 
(New York)