NEW YORK – A former fashion writer, who dressed as a firefighter to bluff his way into a co-worker's apartment where he sexually tortured her for 13 hours, was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison on Monday.
Peter Braunstein, 43, was convicted May 23 of kidnapping, robbing and molesting his victim. In a nine-page letter sent to the judge last week asking for leniency, he described planning the crime — conceding a key prosecution point — while arguing that he was mentally ill.
"In fact, I did plan the crime," Braunstein wrote state Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber in the letter. "The madness resides in the fact that I had no motive or intent. Thus, once I attacked the victim, I had no idea why I was there, or what to do."
The letter capped a case that created daily headlines with its sexually charged testimony and glimpses into Braunstein's strange life.