MINEOLA, N.Y. - For more than a year after she accused her ex-boyfriend of rape, Seemona Sumasar said that his friends pressured her to drop the charges. City health and building inspectors would show up at her Queens restaurant to investigate anonymous complaints that she was sure were filed by the ex-boyfriend.
Then she was arrested on charges that she had committed a pair of armed robberies while posing as a police officer.
Sumasar spent nearly seven months behind bars, until prosecutors determined that the robberies were actually an elaborate frame-up orchestrated by the ex-boyfriend. She was freed last week, but she said yesterday that her business is ruined, her home is threatened with foreclosure and her pleas of innocence were ignored.
Prosecutors, acting on a tip, filed perjury charges against the ex-boyfriend and the two robbery "victims" who confessed they had lied.
Sumasar, the mother of a 12-year-old, just wishes that investigators would have paid attention to her long ago.
"They acted like I'm just trying to blame somebody else for something I did," Sumasar, 35, said at a news conference in her attorney's office yesterday. "They did not want to look into it at all."
The attorney, Anthony Grandinette, said that Sumasar's robbery charges are still pending. She is due back in Nassau County Court on Jan. 10.
When she was arrested in May, Sumasar was held on $1 million bail. That was later cut in half, but her attorney said that there was no way that she could post either amount, leaving her to await trial in jail.
"I didn't think I was going to last a day or a night there," she said. "It was bad. I cried. I prayed. I meditated. I did everything I could to keep my mind from going crazy. I was praying somebody's going to listen."
Sumasar, who had worked for a decade on Wall Street, owned a franchise restaurant, a Golden Crust bakery, at the time of her arrest. Her family tried to operate the struggling business but eventually they had to shut it down, she said.
She said that her daughter, Chiara, had to move out of their Queens home and live temporarily with her father in Brooklyn. Sumasar didn't even let the child visit her in the Nassau County Jail for the first few months.
"I didn't think it was a place for her to come, but at the same time I didn't know when I was getting out of there," Sumasar admitted.
The rape charges are pending against the ex-boyfriend, Jerry Ramrattan, in neighboring Queens. He pleaded not guilty last week to perjury and other charges in the Sumasar robbery case and is being held on $500,000 bail.