Second woman speaks out about prior scary experiences with SoHo hotel murder suspect

Dan Krauth Image
Thursday, February 22, 2024
Second woman recalls prior experiences with SoHo murder suspect
Dan Krauth has more.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- A second woman has now spoken out about her experiences she had with noted SoHo hotel murder suspect Raad Almansoori.

Leah Palian, a Florida native, told Eyewitness News she was sexually assaulted by Almansoori in April 2023.

"I told the prosecutors if they let him walk that he was capable of doing this," Palian said.

Palian and Almansoori worked together at a restaurant in Orlando, Florida.

"He gets right on top of me on the couch and he starts strangling me with the utmost force, he just goes directly under my chin, he knew exactly what he was doing, he cut off my airways," she said. "Immediately like I was laying there in fear for my life."

Palian managed to escape, and police caught up to Almansoori once he took her car and went on the run. Florida prosecutors ended up dropping the most violent charges.

"After reviewing all the evidence and facts related to the case, we concluded there was insufficient evidence to prove the sexual battery and aggravated assault charges beyond a reasonable doubt," said Orlando State Attorney Monique H. Worrell.

"It's just so disheartening that this is allowed to happen," Palian said.

Almansoori was able to post bond in Florida and head to New York City. He's accused of beating a woman to death inside a SoHo hotel room back on Feb. 8, and was captured on video later wearing what is believed to be, the victim's leggings. Police say he also stabbed two woman in Arizona on Feb. 17 and 18. Both victims survived.

Arizona officials say they're refusing to send Almansoori back to New York due to the city's "soft on crime" policies.

"Plain and simple, that should have no place in our profession," Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg said.

Bragg added since the suspect is facing homicide charges in New York, he should be prosecuted here first.

Almansoori will have a court hearing soon in Arizona which will help decide what happens next.

ALSO READ | Police release new surveillance footage of Gucci store robbery

Phil Taitt reports.


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