Tuesday, October 11, 2011

City of Miami to pay $550,000 to woman assaulted by cop

Michael Ragusa
From El Nuevo Herald:
The City of Miami will pay $ 550,000 in compensation to the victim of an attempted rape in 2007 by a uniformed policeman.

She was one of three victims who accused the former officer, Michael Ragusa, of a sexual assault that occurred in his patrol car and while in uniform. Ragusa was convicted in 2008 of two counts of rape and one count of attempted rape. He is currently serving a 10 year sentence.

On the night of the attack, the 35 year-old woman who was working as a waitress, had stepped of a bus when Ragusa ordered the woman into his vehicle. Ragusa led her to a dark area, unzipped his pants and ordered her to perform oral sex. The woman tried unsuccessfully to stop the attack.
In March, 2007, the Miami Herald reported this account of the incident:
Miami police Officer Michael P. Ragusa kidnapped a woman in his patrol car, tried raping her, released her, sent her a cellphone text message, then called to invite her to lunch, authorities say.

Ragusa, a three-year officer with an undistinguished career, was arrested Tuesday.

Stripped of his badge and gun, he was charged with kidnapping and attempted sexual battery by a law enforcement officer.

"It's difficult for us anytime one of our own gets in trouble for anything," said Miami Lt. Bill Schwartz. "But something like this boggles the mind."

Ragusa , 31, Coconut Grove afternoon-shift patrolman, was not on duty when the alleged kidnapping happened in Miami Beach just before 5 a.m. Monday.

That's when, police say, Ragusa pulled up to a 31-year-old woman who had just left her undisclosed workplace.

She stepped off a county bus at Collins Avenue and 73rd Street. He beckoned her over.

Calling her "beautiful," Ragusa grabbed her by the arm and pulled her toward the blue-and-white Ford Crown Victoria, according to a police report.

The terrified woman later told police she had never seen him before.

Ragusa pulled her into the car "across his lap." They drove to a "secluded area" behind a nearby Collins Avenue home.

Ragusa , not in uniform, smelled of alcohol, she said.

Pleading, the woman begged him "to please let her go, because she had to go home to her son," an arrest report says.

As she struggled, Ragusa fondled her, forced kisses on her and stripped off her pants, police say.

Ragusa tried raping her, police say, but stopped when the woman claimed she had a venereal disease.

Allowing the woman to put her pants on, Ragusa extended an invitation back to his apartment, police said. The woman insisted she needed to go home.

Ragusa drove her home but before letting her go, he "stated he wanted her phone number." She agreed, writing the number on a match book -- he immediately called her to make sure she had given the correct one.

"He told her he would like to see her again," the police report says.

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