Our Pledge To You

News

Escort says ex disguised himself in dark makeup, turban and sunglasses before raping her

The escort thought she was meeting a new client named “Ricky Singh” when the bearded, turbaned man arrived at her Bucktown apartment before Valentine’s Day weekend.

But when the 26-year-old woman struggled with the man on her bed after he handcuffed her, his glasses flew off and soon she said she realized her attacker was her estranged ex-boyfriend who had darkened his skin with makeup to throw her off.

On Thursday, the woman testified that Nathan Nissenbaum duct-taped her mouth and legs, placed a leather mask over her head and threatened her with a weapon before raping her on Feb. 12.

“He told me if I continued to fight that it’d be a murder-suicide, instead of a suicide,” the woman said at Nissenbaum’s preliminary hearing at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse.

The woman said while she was held hostage for several hours, Nissenbaum slapped her and wrapped his hands around her neck.

“This is what it’s really liked to be choked,” the woman said Nissenbaum told her.

Nissenbaum, 33, then tried to kill himself using razor blades in the bathtub, the woman said.

He then allegedly set fire to her apartment in the 2100 block of North Hoyne, charring the woman’s bedding, towels and pillows.

Nissenbaum’s attorneys insinuated the mother of one was into sadomasochism and pointed to how she had chuckled about the incident with their client.

During cross-examination by defense attorney Michelle Truesdale, the woman admitted that she laughed with Nissenbaum in the bathroom and even fixed him a whiskey following the alleged sexual assault.

In a blog post the woman created under a pseudonym, she wrote: “We both laughed again as he choked on the whiskey a bit. We also laughed about the fact that from roughly 10 minutes into this ordeal I recognized that the gun was probably just a fake. He eventually got into the tub and had me sit next to him while he attempted to slaughter his arms, which wasn’t going well. He had a much harder time hurting himself and let out a scream when he split the skin on his arm wide open. I started crying and asked him if I could be outside of the bathroom and he allowed it.”

The woman on Thursday told Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan that she left Nissenbaum in her apartment shortly after and contacted her fiancé and called police.

While she was held captive, the woman said Nissenbaum told her of his plans to take her away to a nearby bed and breakfast on Valentine’s Day where he would kill himself.

He started to pack her belongings in a suitcase and even used her credit card to book the room but then allegedly decided to try to kill himself in the woman’s apartment.

The woman said she and Nissenbaum dated for roughly a year before she broke up with him on November.

She was granted an order of protection from Nissenbaum in January.

Judge James Brown ordered Nissenbaum held in lieu of $1 million bail last month for aggravated criminal sexual assault, aggravated unlawful restraint, violating the order of protection and attempted arson.

Nissenbaum wasn’t in court following his February arrest because he had been hospitalized and was undergoing a mental health evaluation.

On Thursday, Sullivan ruled there was enough probable cause to try Nissenbaum, of the 400 block of West Wrightwood Avenue.

Outside of court, Truesdale said there were many inconsistencies with the alleged victim’s testimony and what she has posted on several online websites.

The defense attorney also said the woman had asked Nissenbaum’s parents for money to help pay for lawyer’s fees for when she filed for the order of protection.

The woman took to Twitter to tweet about about the grueling testimony late Thursday afternoon.

“It was a long and exhausting day, but probable cause was found and I f—— nailed my testimony. Now for a nap,” she tweeted.