In a quiet but steady voice, a former Columbia journalism student described Friday how a stranger invaded her Manhattan apartment and raped her repeatedly.
"Please don't hurt me! Please don't hurt me," the young woman said she begged the man.
He threw her on the bed and tore off her clothes.
"He started raping me," the woman said. "I thought he was going to kill me. I thought I was going to die."
As she told her horrific tale, her frightened brown eyes darted over to the defense table where 31-year-old Robert Williams should have been sitting.
But Williams wasn't there - he had chickened out earlier and refused to show up for his own trial.
That decision spared the victim from having to confront the man accused of holding her captive for 19 hours, trying to blind her with bleach, scalding her body with boiling water, carving up her face with a butcher knife - and trying to burn her alive