A Nassau County Court judge sentenced a Hempstead man to 55 years to life in prison on Monday, three months after he was convicted of raping three women and trying to rape another in a string of attacks from June to August 2013, authorities said.
Ramone Smith, 26, whom jurors convicted on Nov. 7, was sentenced by acting State Supreme Court Justice Francis Ricigliano.
According to prosecutors, Smith lured and then attacked the women, all of whom were sex workers, using online advertisements for adult entertainment at a website called Backpage.com, said Nassau District Attorney Madeline Singas in a statement about the sentencing.
The victims ranged in age from 19 to 27.
“This sexual predator lured his vulnerable victims online and then brutally raped them,” Singas said. “Today’s sentence ensures that this twisted defendant will no longer pose a threat to women in our communities.”
But Smith’s attorney, Ed Mandery, said his client disagrees with the verdict and sentence.
“Mr. Smith has maintained his innocence from the inception of the case, throughout trial and up to today’s sentencing,” Mandery said. “While he was acquitted of three of the top four charges, he plans to vigorously appeal the conviction which led to the sentence in this matter,” he continued, referring to his client’s acquittal on three other counts of predatory sexual assault.
Authorities said three of the attacks occurred on the roof of Smith’s Washington Street building on June 18, Aug. 7 and Aug. 27, 2013. The other attack was attempted, prosecutors said, on July 18 at a motel in Westbury, but that 22-year-old victim escaped, authorities said.
Smith was convicted on multiple counts of seven felonies, including predatory sexual assault, first-degree rape, first-degree criminal sex act, first-degree attempted rape, third-degree criminal possession of a weapon, third-degree robbery and first-degree attempted sexual assault.