The woman who was robbed and brutally assaulted at gunpoint by a gang of thugs on her way home from a Queens church is so devout she used to travel more than two hours, several times a week, just to pray there.
But the sex assault has left her so traumatized that she won’t walk out her front door, her husband told The Post Sunday after services at the storefront house of worship, where he went to thank the pastor and parishioners for their support.
“We cry together at night. I try to console her, to let her know that I still love her no matter,” said the husband, whose identity, as well as his wife’s The Post is withholding due to the nature of the crime committed against her.
“I feel I’m even losing my senses, too. I just can’t believe it.”
The couple lives in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn, and the victim — a social worker — routinely spent five hours traveling to and from the Celestial Church of Christ in Jamaica, just two blocks from where she was set upon.
“This woman is so dedicated to church. Sometimes she comes home from work, I tell her, ‘Baby, you’re just coming home from work. Relax.’ But she wants to go to church, for vigil, for this, for that,” her husband said.
“And we don’t have a car. It’s 2 1/2 hours to get here from Brooklyn — two buses and one train. She doesn’t get home until 1, 2 a.m., and then she gets up and goes to work.
“This is how dedicated she is to Christ, and someone did this to her,” he added.
Three men, ages 17 to 20, were busted — and a fourth is being sought — in what Queens District Attorney Richard Brown has called a “pack-like” incident.
The 50-year-old victim was walking past the corner of 150th Street and Beaver Road around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday when Justin Williams, 17, allegedly confronted her with a fake pistol.
When Williams demanded her cash and phone, the woman dumped out the contents of her handbag and he scooped up her cell phone and MetroCard, authorities have said.
Brandon Walker, 20, then allegedly ordered the woman to strip off her clothes, and he and Williams demanded that she perform oral sex on them.
When she refused to comply, Julisses Ginel, 19, allegedly threatened that she would be shot.
She was then violated by Williams, Walker and the suspect who remains at large, prosecutors have said.
“I think they’ve been doing that for a long time to different ladies, and this time the law caught up with them,” said her husband, an unemployed broadcast engineer.
He added that, “as a Christian, I believe God forgives us when we confess our sins.”
But when asked if he could forgive his wife’s attackers, he said, “I’m not the one who has to forgive.”
“It’s almighty God who forgives. My challenge now is how I’m going to get her out of this trauma,” he said.
“I know the Lord will deal with them, and if they’ve confessed their sins, it’s God who knows to forgive them.”
He needs to pray to justify forgiveness. He needs to come back to God. He needs to face the victim that he hurt and apologize to the victim, appeal to her, and ask for forgiveness.
– Pastor Kehinde Oyetunde
Both the woman and her husband are African immigrants, she from Liberia and he from Nigeria. They don’t have kids together, but she has two grown children from a previous marriage, he said.
The husband spoke following a visit to the Queens church, part of a Christian denomination founded in the French colony of Dahomey — now Benin — in 1947.
“Somebody’s home with her right now,” he said of his wife.
“I’m only here today to give thanks, to give support to the pastor, to say thank you to the people here for their support and prayers.”
While saying his wife was “not herself” and “behaves funny” since the attack, the husband said he, too, was suffering as a result.
“Even as I’m talking to you my blood pressure has gone up. I can’t sleep,” he said.
“Even myself, I’m trying to get a psychiatrist….I try to calm her, but I need calming myself. I just try to stay strong because of the faith I have in God.”
Pastor Kehinde Oyetunde said he was “trying to calm the people who came to church, to let them know that God is with us, and we should continue serving the Lord.”
“Some people are taking like, ‘Oh, I can’t come to this area anymore.’ And it’s hard,” he said.
“I’m telling them: If God is with us, we don’t need to fear. Because God is with us, that is why we’re able to overcome.”
Oyetunde also scoffed at the jailhouse interview Saturday in which Williams claimed it “would have made a difference” if he knew the victim had just left church and added: “I don’t deserve to pray.”
“What if she’s not coming from church? Is he supposed to do it now?” Oyetunde said.
“I think what’s going through his head now is he can imagine he’s found himself in a crime he wasn’t supposed to commit in his life.
“But let me tell you, he needs to pray to justify forgiveness. He needs to come back to God. He needs to face the victim that he hurt and apologize to the victim, appeal to her, and ask for forgiveness. And if the woman forgives him then God will forgive,” he added.
Outraged congregant Dave Adebayo, 36, noted, “God may forgive, but there’s no forgiveness from the law.”
“They have what’s coming to them. Maybe this will give them a little time to reflect on their actions, to make changes to their own lives,” Adebayo said.
“I was once a bad kid myself, but I wouldn’t do what they did. We Africans, we’re trained to respect elders. You wouldn’t see a 50-year-old woman and want to rape her. Come on. Fifty years old! I would say the devil just used them.”