Alleged West Village Rapist Trying to Withdraw His Guilty Plea
MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — In an 11th-hour attempt to avoid at least 20 years in prison, the man due to be sentenced Wednesday after he confessed to raping a woman in the West Village this spring told a judge he wanted to take back his guilty plea.
Ivan Ramos, 23, argued through his defense attorney that he was "coerced" into accepting a plea deal for allegedly approaching a drunk woman early the morning of April 17, telling her he was a "neighborhood watchman" who would take her home, and then raping her in an outdoor stairwell on Perry Street.
"He takes the position that he was not properly advised during or before the plea," public defender Mel Reiss said. "He wants to return to his family at the earliest time possible."
Ramos pleaded guilty to rape, criminal sexual acts and assault on Jan. 9. Police said he was seen pulling up his pants as he exited the stairwell, where the 15-minute attack caught on surveillance video occurred. He was later found with the victim's debit card, police said.
Hon. Laura A. Ward explained to Ramos, who wore a tight purple button-down shirt, that he could retract his plea only if he was arguing he had not submitted it "knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily."
Ramos maintained, via Reiss, that he had not been treated fairly.
Ward then assigned Ramos another attorney, who will file a motion on Ramos' behalf to retract the plea.
"At the present time, I don't see any basis for a motion to withdraw," the judge said.
Ward will issue a decision on Ramos's request March 12, opting to either reject his request and set a new sentencing date for the accused rapist, or to allow him to change how he pleads.
Ramos, a New York native, is being held without bail at Manhattan Detention Complex.