Ramrattan lawyer tries to discredit DA witnesses

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Bayside attorney Frank Kelly said Monday that in trying to find his client, former Far Rockaway resident Jerry Ramrattan, guilty of rape, perjury and other charges, prosecutors have relied upon the testimony of liars, thieves and a woman who has presented inconsistent testimony.

“Don’t believe her,” Kelly said of Seemona Sumasar, Ramrattan’s ex-girlfriend and alleged victim in closing arguments. “Don’t trust anyone in this case.”

Ramrattan has been on trial this month in Queens Supreme Court on charges of enacting a complicated, two-county scheme against Sumasar, a former Morgan Stanley financial analyst and bakery owner, and Vishnanauth “Elvis” Bandhu, another former beau of Sumasar’s. Ramrattan was charged with raping Sumasar in 2009 in the Far Rockaway home they once shared.

After Ramrattan was indicted on rape charges, prosecutors contend he sought revenge by threatening club promoter Rajive Mohanlal to say both Sumasar and Bandhu robbed him in Jamaica while dressed as police officers in 2009.

In 2010, Ramrattan is also accused of paying Brooklyn resident Terrell Lovell and New Jersey resident Luz Johnson to say Sumasar had robbed them in Nassau County.

Sumasar spent from May to December 2010 in Nassau County prison on charges of robbery, criminal impersonation and other counts due to Lovell and Johnson’s claims.

During his summation, Kelly cast doubts on the testimony of Mohanlal, Lovell and Johnson, saying that given that they had previously lied to the grand jury about Sumasar robbing them and testifying against Ramrattan was part of their plea deals, they could not be trusted.

He also suggested the courts of Queens and Nassau counties were out to get Ramrattan as they had been proven wrong about Sumasar.

“Tell them they don’t have a bias,” Kelly said.

Ramrattan, 38, is charged with rape, perjury, conspiracy and falsely reporting a crime, the Queens district attorney’s office said. He faces seven years in prison if convicted, the DA said.

Last week, Sumasar took the stand and said she had met Ramrattan through her bakery, where he introduced himself as a detective for the Brooklyn district attorney’s office. She testified that after her relationship ended, Ramrattan held her captive in the basement of her home in Far Rockaway for hours, sealed her mouth with duct tape and raped her in March 2009, The New York Times reported.

Kelly cast doubt upon Sumasar’s testimony, saying her details of Ramrattan’s attack varied from her testimony in Nassau to her testimony last week and that her version of when her relationship with Ramrattan ended and the nature of it at the time of the alleged attack were fuzzy.

Kelly said she was also inconsistent on details of the financial status of the Golden Krust bakery. Kelly said Sumasar refinanced her mother’s house to pay for the bakery and some documents and checks related to the bakery were in Ramrattan’s name, but she claimed to be the sole owner of the bakery.

“Her business dealings reflect on exactly what kind of person she is,” Kelly said.

Earlier in the month, Carmel Paredes, a sexual assault examiner at Queens Hospital in Jamaica at the time, testified Nov. 9 that he examined Sumusar after she was allegedly raped. He said she had red marks around her mouth, lines and glue on her wrists and a small, non-bleeding laceration on the exterior of her vagina.

“The injury is consistent with forceful vaginal penetration,” he said.

Kelly said afterward that Sumasar and Ramrattan had consensual sex and her vaginal injury could be consistent with such.

Bandhu testified last week that he and his father had hired Ramrattan, who claimed he was a private investigator, to help solve Bandhu’s brother’s 2008 murder. Through Ramrattan, Bandhu met Sumasar at her Golden Krust bakery in Far Rockaway and the two had dated for a short period of time, but Bandhu ended up firing Ramrattan after six weeks and paid him $20,600.

“We found out he was never part of law enforcement,” Bandhu said.

After club owner Mohanlal falsely accused both Bandu and Sumasar of robbing him, Bandhu was charged with armed robbery and impersonating a police officer July 7, 2010. He said he made bail and the case was later dismissed, as Mohanlal later admitted to perjury, but the accusation disrupted the victim’s life.

He lost $250,000 to $280,000 in legal fees and the business he was trying to set up in Indiana was burglarized. Some members of his family did not speak to him while he was charged.

Bandhu said Ramrattan also accused him of murdering his own brother, a charge Bandhu denies.

Mohanlal, who is in police custody and entered the courtroom in handcuffs, said Ramrattan had claimed to be a police officer and threatened his family if he did not make the claim against Sumasar and Bandhu.

Ramrattan did not testify on his behalf in the trial.

Reach reporter Rebecca Henely by e-mail at or by phone at 718-260-4564.

Updated 9:06 pm, November 23, 2011
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