Long Beach man who drugged, raped 'couch surfing' tourist sentenced to 10 years

LONG BEACH, Long Island (WABC) -- A Long Island bartender who raped a European tourist staying in his apartment was sentenced to a decade behind bars Friday.

A judge sentenced 32-year-old Dennis Edison to 10 years in prison and 20 years of post-release supervision. He was found guilty of rape and sexual abuse on August 19.

"This defendant drugged and raped an unsuspecting tourist who he lured to his apartment through couchsurfing.com," District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a news release. "She bravely reported the incident and thanks to the outstanding work of the Long Beach Police Department and our prosecutors, this predator will be held accountable.

The incident happened in November 2015. Prosecutors said two women from Germany made arrangements to stay at Edison's apartment for several days.

On the second night of their stay, the DA said Edison gave the women cocktails that he had prepared, and both described a feeling of detachment and their movements felt labored, like "a robot," after drinking the cocktails.

According to prosecutors, while one of the women fell asleep, Edison gave the victim a different drink and led her to a massage table in his bedroom.

"Forensic evidence confirmed that the unconscious woman was raped by Edison, who initially denied having sexual contact with her in a recorded conversation," the DA said.

The women left the apartment after becoming violently ill and reported the crime to police.

The prosecutor's office provided these tips for people to follow if planning to use a "couch surfing" site:

- Carefully check the profiles and reviews of potential hosts before you book and ask for references.

- Read everything the host has posted about their listing.

- Set clear expectations with your host and trust your intuition - if you don't feel right about a reservation don't book it.

- In an emergency situation, of if you feel your personal safety is threatened, contact local police or emergency services immediately.
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