Prosecutors started to roll out their case this week against Raymond Sherman, Jr., the reported ringleader of a crew of five that they say robbed a Westside Nordstrom Rack Thursday night, holding employees against their will.
The charges against Sherman indicate that the 34-year-old allegedly kidnapped a woman and raped her twice as 13 other employees were forced into a storage room or took shelter in a restroom during the heist.
Sherman's charges, according to the District Attorney's office, include:
… two counts of forcible rape, one count of oral copulation, one count of kidnapping for rape, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and 14 counts of second-degree robbery. The complaint also alleges that Sherman personally used a handgun.
Sherman was unable to enter a plea yesterday because he was being held in Phoenix, where he was arrested and where he awaits extradition.
A person by his name is listed as being a state-licensed security guard with a firearm permit, according to the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services records.
Reports indicate that at least one of the suspects had once worked at the Nordstrom Rack.
Sherman's four co-defendants, meanwhile, took their opportunities in court last night to say not guilty. Those included a woman reported to be Sherman's sister, 33-year-old Monique Sherman.
She and Paula Roneshia Bradley, 29, were charged with one count each of being accessories after the crime.
Two other men, Troy Marsay Hammock, 29, and Everett Oneal Allen, 24, faced charges of “14 counts each of second-degree robbery and one count each of assault with a deadly weapon, a knife,” according to the D.A.'s office.
Another victim, also a woman, was stabbed, prosecutors said.
Suspect Allen worked at John H. Leighty Middle School in the Westlake District as a food services employee, according to ABC Eyewitness News.
All the suspects who pleaded last yesterday were being held on bail ranging from $25,000 (for the women) to $780,000.