Arrest in area rape - Man busted in Ft. Ham Pkwy attack

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Suspected Bay Ridge rapist Ralph DiMassi cut a swath of violence through two states before cops apprehended him last week.

When cops nabbed DiMassi in connection with the rape of a 39-year-old woman in a dingy basement of a Fort Hamilton Parkway building, he was already wanted for an attack on another woman – an alleged car-jacking in Pohatcong Township, NJ, officials said.

Now, a week after his arrest, prosecutors said that DiMassi – who is believed to be a homeless man in his late 30s – must face charges here before he can be extradited to the Garden State to face crimes there.

After a nearly two-week investigation, cops connected DiMassi to the sex attack, in which he allegedly begged his victim’s forgiveness after forcing himself on her.

His victim told detectives that she was on her way to work on the morning of September 17 when DiMassi allegedly stopped her outside her building near the corner of 93rd Street and Fort Hamilton Parkway.

He allegedly hit the woman in the head with a screwdriver and dragged her into the basement of the building, where the sexual assault took place, officials said.

The victim told neighbors that DiMassi allegedly apologized for what he did as he was getting up to leave.

“I’m sorry. I’m going through some hard times. I didn’t mean to do this,” he said, according to a recent article in the New York Post.

He also made a sign of the cross before running off down Fort Hamilton Parkway, running right past a building surveillance camera, officials alleged.

It didn’t take long for Special Victims investigators to connect both the video footage and a sketch of the assailant to DiMassi, an ex-con who had just been released from prison three months earlier.

As cops in Brooklyn were connecting him to the rape in Bay Ridge, DiMassi had already been identified in the New Jersey car-jacking.

According to The Express Times in New Jersey, police said that on September 13 – four days before the rape – DiMassi allegedly grabbed a 49-year-old woman outside a Stop & Shop in Pohatcong Plaza off Route 22 and demanded a ride.

When the woman refused, DiMassi forced her back into her car, police alleged.

After a brief struggle, the woman gave the keys to DiMassi, who forced her out of the vehicle and sped off, officials alleged.

Cops caught up with DiMassi in nearby Bloomfield, New Jersey, but he wouldn’t go quietly, alleged police.

He reportedly smashed the stolen car into two police vehicles in a failed escape attempt before ditching it somewhere in Bloomfield and running off, officials alleged. No injuries were reported.

Once again, police recognized DiMassi after a video surveillance camera captured his fight with the woman in the Stop & Shop parking lot.

Cops in New York caught up with DiMassi late Wednesday night and took him into custody.

After he was identified by the victim, detectives charged DiMassi with rape in the first degree, sex abuse, robbery, burglary, unlawful imprisonment and criminal trespass.

During his arraignment, a judge ordered a $1 million bail based on the horrific crime and the fact that DiMassi was a parolee.

A spokesman from the Kings County District Attorney’s office said that DiMassi had been apprehended for a robbery in Bensonhurst back in 1996.

DiMassi pleaded guilty to the charges in 1997 and was sentenced to 14 years in prison, officials said. He was released from jail this past June after 12 years of incarceration, officials said.

Prosecutors said that DiMassi was expected to face the charges in court this week.

Updated 3:43 pm, October 19, 2011
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