Man gets 17 years in 2015 Queens acid attack, part of embezzlement cover-up

LONG ISLAND CITY, Queens (WABC) -- The man who pleaded guilty in a vicious acid attack in Queens was sentenced to 17 years in prison Tuesday.

Jerry Mohammed and another woman planned and carried out the 2015 attack to cover up the fact that they had been embezzling from a non-profit organization.

Mohammed threw acid on the non-profit's director, Alexandra Dyer, to keep her from investigating the theft.

Prior to the sentencing, Dyer spoke about the attack and how it has changed her.

"Physically, my face and body will carry scars for the rest of my life," she said. "I no longer have eyebrows or eyelashes, or my own eyelids. My eyes are in constant pain, and I am hypersensitive to light and air. I've had to fight my way back to the person I was, but I am changed. I am at peace. I look forward and not backward."

Dyer suffered disfigurement to her face and body and had to undergo extensive surgeries due to the burns.

The 63-year-old is fierce in spirit, and she says the sentencing will allow her to close a painful, catastrophic chapter in her life.

"I remember having conversations with my doctor in the hospital, and every time I'd say to him, 'Why me?' and some of the answers were, 'God needed a tough broad who could tolerate this and keep moving forward,'" she said. "I got a second chance. My doctors tell me every time I should be blind."

And with that second chance, Dyer said she's more compassionate. And instead of the focusing on the storm, she is looking for the silver linings.

"I'm just more compassionate than I've ever been, and I try every day," she said. "We're all frail, all human, all make mistakes. But I try."

The accountant who orchestrated the attack, Kim Williams, has also pleaded guilty and is expected to receive the same sentence.

Prosecutors said Williams swindled $600,000 from the nonprofit and gave another $150,000 in stolen funds to a close friend.

----------
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Copyright © 2019 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.