January 26, 2014 Manhattan, New York (NYDailyNews) — Her lonely days are spent in paralyzing fear, her sleepless nights in sweat-soaked terror.
Former actress Kia Graves, going public for the first time since she was raped on Sept. 29, 2012, says her world was shattered when a baby-faced pizza delivery boy allegedly attacked her.
“I have nightmares thinking that he’s getting out of jail, and I wake up all the time making sure my door is locked,” the single mom told the Daily News through tears.
“I sleep with one eye open, basically … I have panic attacks and I wake up in sweats.”
Her last good night’s sleep was interrupted when rape suspect Cesar Lucas slipped into her 10th-floor apartment in a luxury West Side high rise, authorities say.
The worker from Sal’s Pizza violated Graves as the victim’s 7-year-old daughter slept peacefully alongside her, authorities charged. Mother and child had gone to bed about 90 minutes earlier.
The 37-year-old victim recalled how her cries for help were muffled by her attacker’s hand across her mouth. The accused rapist apologized before fleeing.
Graves remembered waking in a state of panic that night — a condition that plagues her 16 months later. Her rattled nerves are hardly settled by the prospect of someday facing Lucas in court.
The 5-foot-6, 130-pound suspect, on his 17th birthday, is due Tuesday at a Manhattan Supreme Court hearing.
The former actress, stage performer and modeling agent said she’s been unable to work since the attack.
“I live in fear,” she said.
The News generally doesn’t identify victims of sex crimes, but Graves came forward voluntarily — revealing her identity and sharing her story.
The raven-haired victim and her daughter still live in the apartment where she was raised and raped. Though she slept through the attack, the little girl is now alarmed by the changes in her mom.
“She thinks something bad will happen to me,” Graves said.
A break-in by a random rapist was never something to fear at The Alfred, a W. 61st St. condo where residents enjoyed a sense of security.
Graves grew up in the building, where her mother also still lives. But she says the feeling of safety has now evaporated.
“I’m scared that my rapist will get out of jail and he knows where I live,” she said. “There’s constant fear and anxiety.”
Graves, her voice breaking, said she is too emotionally crippled to move out of the apartment/crime scene.
“I don’t know what to do,” she said hopelessly. “I’m just seeing my doctor and hoping for the best.”
Graves, until the night of her rape, enjoyed a happy life. She started acting at a young age, and by the 1990s landed gigs on Broadway and at the Met.
She landed a role in the 1991 Harrison Ford flick “Regarding Henry.” And in an eerie coincidence, she appeared on a 1995 “Law and Order” episode about a teenager raped by a high school classmate.
After college, she shifted from acting to the fashion industry.
At the time of the attack, Graves was working for a reputable modeling agency — scouting models to work with big-name designers and retailers.