Convicted rapist Ralph DiMassi is all out of apologies.
He may have made the sign of the cross and mumbled a few mea culpas moments after he kidnapped and raped a woman in the basement of her Fort Hamilton Parkway building, but the 40-year-old parolee spent his last few moments as a free man in a defiant tirade, claiming he’d been railroaded by the criminal justice system.
“Today an innocent man is being sent to prison,” DiMassi said in a seven minute ramble before being sentenced to 70 years in prison, claiming that sex between himself and his victim was consensual — statements refuted by all other accounts.
He was initially facing 82-years to life after being convicted of rape in the first degree, robbery, burglary and other charges for the Sept. 17, 2008 attack inside a Fort Hamilton Parkway address near 93rd Street.
Police said the victim was leaving her building at 8:30 am when she saw DiMassi in the basement. Moments later, he crept up behind her, struck her in the head with a screwdriver and dragged her into a storage room before sexually assaulting her.
“I’m sorry. I’m going through some hard times. I didn’t mean to do this,” he allegedly said, making a sign of the cross before running off down Fort Hamilton Parkway — right past a surveillance camera.
Working off the video image, cops quickly managed to grab DiMassi, but not through normal channels.
A shoplifter nabbed at the Staten Island Mall at around the same time put the nail in DiMassi’s coffin by peddling his identity and current whereabouts — Dyker Park — for a walk.
The officers were scouting out the park when DiMassi boldly approached them on a bike, wondering what the plain-clothes officers were looking for.
“[DiMassi] was wearing the exact boots, jeans and shirt the suspect had worn on the day of the rape,” remembered Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez, the commanding officer of the 68th Precinct, adding that his officers immediately took DiMassi into custody. DNA tests later confirmed that he was the one who committed the sex attack.
Witnesses said that DiMassi’s insolent remarks took everyone in the courtroom by surprise, except for his victim, who bravely confronted her attacker in an act of defiance all her own.
“You wrecked my life. It was the most humiliating experience of my life,” she said moments before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Ramon Guzman announced his sentence. Even today, two years later, she still has trouble sleeping and is afraid of being alone, she explained.
“I’m afraid, always afraid, afraid of people walking behind me, afraid of encounters,” she said.
DiMassi is no stranger to a jail cell. According to officials, he spent 21 out of the last 23 years in prison for committing a string of robberies. He had been out of jail just over 100 days before he attacked his victim, police said.