Women often face difficult consequences for pressing rape charges, but it's safe to say no one has ever experienced anything like Seemoa Sumasar did — except on cop shows. In retaliation for Sumasar accusing her ex-boyfriend Jerry Ramrattan of rape, he staged an elaborate plot that left her in jail for seven months.
The New York Times reports that in 2006, then 31-year-old Sumasar, a former Morgan Stanley analyst and restaurant owner, began dating Ramrattan, an avid CSI and Law & Order fan who has posed as a police detective and private investigator. He moved into her home and she says that a year later, after their relationship started falling apart, he attacked her, taped her mouth, and raped her. Sumasar pressed charges and refused to drop them even when Ramrattan sent friends to threaten her. He retaliated by methodically framing her for armed robbery with a scheme that completely fooled police.
One day out of the blue, Sumasar was pulled over, handcuffed, and told by an officer "You know you did it ... Just admit it." She was charged with several armed robberies, and spent the next seven months in jail facing 25 years in prison. She lost her business and her home, and was separated from her 12-year-old daughter. Meanwhile, Ramrattan was free on bail in the rape case.
The Times describes this as a "revenge plot so intricate, the prosecutors were pawns," but his plot never would have worked if law enforcement hadn't assumed Sumasar was guilty refused to investigate when she insisted Ramrattan had set her up. While he invested an unusual amount of time into framing Sumasar, all it took was paying off three witnesses. Ramrattan is accused of coaching the supposed victims to say that an woman who fit Sumasar's description robbed them while dressed as a police officer. The first was shown Sumasar's photo so he could pick her out of a lineup. Six months later another "witnesses" told police he caught three letters from her license plate. The final informant gave the police her full license plate number and said the robbers went by nicknames used by Sumasar and a former boyfriend. Police decided they had enough to charge her with the crimes, even though she had alibis for all of the incidents, which even included a phone record that showed she was out of state during one of the robberies.
The case only fell apart in December, shortly before Sumasar was scheduled to go to trial, because a witness confessed to police. Now Ramrattan is awaiting trial at Riker's Island, and he's making the far-fetched claim that this is all part of Sumasar's scheme to frame him. Meanwhile, Sumasar is planning to sue the police departments, whose officers presumed that a woman with no prior criminal record was guilty, despite evidence that proves otherwise, and refused to investigate her claims against a man accused of a violent sexual crime.
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