Hempstead man faces new sex-assault charges
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A Hempstead man already facing predatory sexual assault charges stemming from attacks on sex workers was arraigned Tuesday morning in Nassau County Court after being indicted in connection with another attack, authorities said.
Ramone Smith, 23, pleaded not guilty before Judge Angelo Delligatti and was ordered remanded to Nassau County jail, the office of Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice said.
Smith was charged with first-degree attempted rape, first-degree attempted sexual abuse, third-degree robbery, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and petty larceny in connection with the July attempted rape of a sex worker he had arranged to meet at a motel in Westbury.
"He denies his guilt in all matters," Smith's attorney, Edward Mandery of Mineola, said of the charges against his client unsealed in court Tuesday.
Smith was first arrested and charged in late 2013, accused of sexually assaulting three women he'd met on the Internet. Police said those attacks occurred between June 2013 and August. After arranging those meetings, police said Smith met the women and attacked them, threatening each with a razor knife. In one of the incidents police said Smith stole the woman's lingerie.
Smith was first ordered held on $500,000 bond or $250,000 cash bail in those cases, records show, and he initially made bail -- before being rearrested in connection with the fourth assault resulting in his arraignment Tuesday.
Records show Smith was ordered held on $1 million bond or $500,000 cash bail, and that he was remanded, after his initial indictment on grand jury charges in February.
The additional charges against Smith are the result of a grand jury indictment returned in late May, records show.
Smith was charged in the February grand jury indictment with four counts of predatory sexual assault, first-degree criminal sex act, four counts of first-degree sexual abuse, three counts of first-degree rape, three counts of third-degree criminal possession of a weapon and first-degree coercion, Rice said.
If convicted, Smith faces up to 50 years to life in prison.
"These women were victimized twice -- by both the commercial sex trade and the brutal violence of their attacker," Rice said in a statement Tuesday announcing the latest indictment against Smith.
"This defendant inflicted even more pain and degradation on women who were already in need of help and protection," Rice said.
Authorities said Smith met the women after answering advertisements under the "Adult Entertainment Services" listings on Backpage.com.
The first three assaults took place, Rice said, after Smith lured the victims to the roof of his apartment building on Washington Street.
Smith was first arrested by Nassau Narcotics / Vice Squad detectives -- in conjunction with the Special Victims Squad -- on Sept. 3, then was rearrested Nov. 15. He has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His next court appearance is June 27.