The renegade rapist who attacked a Fort Hamilton Parkway woman in the basement of her own building two years ago is facing 82-years to life behind bars now that he’s been convicted of rape in the first degree, Brooklyn prosecutors said on May 24.
Ralph DiMassi, 40, was found guilty of the Sept. 17, 2008 rape that horrified the neighborhood as well as charges of robbery, burglary and sex abuse.
Prosecutors claimed that DiMassi grabbed a 39-year-old victim as she stepped out of her building near 93rd Street at 8:30 am, struck her over the head with a screwdriver and dragged her into a storage room before sexually assaulting her.
In a menacing-sounding mea culpa, he reportedly apologized to his victim as he got up to leave.
“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 building surveillance camera.
Working off the video image, cops quickly managed to grab DiMassi, but not through normal channels.
Police said that a shoplifter nabbed at the Staten Island Mall at around the same time put the nail in DiMassi’s coffin by peddling his identity for a walk.
“A detective in Staten Island called us and explained that he had a shoplifter who says that he knows a guy who did something bad in Bay Ridge and that he might be in Dyker Park,” Deputy Inspector Eric Rodriguez told this paper at the time. “I sent my guys over there to look for evidence – an encampment, some food, anything.”
The officers were scouting out the area when DiMassi boldly approached them on a bike, wondering what the plain-clothes officers were looking for.
“He was wearing the exact boots, jeans and shirt the suspect had worn on the day of the rape,” Rodriguez remembered.
DiMassi was immediately taken into custody. DNA tests later confirmed that he was the one who committed the sex attack.
Prosecutors said DiMassi will be sentenced on June 14.