City police say they think a 34-year-old man arrested early Friday on a rape charge could have other potential victims.
Rashaune M. Ramsey was charged with rape, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia after a raid at 201 Rowland Ave. by the METRICH Enforcement Unit.
“We think most of the victims are not wanting to come forward because they’re intimidated by him and the group he hangs out with,” police Detective Dave Scheurer said. “He’s got quite a following. They like to intimidate people to get what they want.”
Scheurer said Ramsey relocated to Mansfield from Cleveland about a year ago. He is wanted on a misdemeanor assault warrant out of Cleveland.
“He brought his (drug) business from Cleveland to here,” Scheurer said.
The detective said Ramsey has a lengthy criminal history, dating to 1997.
In 1998, he was sentenced to 13 years in prison for rape, kidnapping and aggravated robbery with a gun specification. Other charges in his past include possessing criminal tools, grand theft auto and stalking.
Scheurer said the suspect is registered in Cleveland, but he does not know if he is registered in Richland County. If not, Ramsey could face an additional charge.
Ramsey was arrested at 2 a.m. at 201 Rowland Ave.
Police also reported finding drug paraphernalia, a small amount of heroin and $4,550 cash in the home. Two other adults and an infant also were there.
The infant was found alone in a room, and reached for METRICH officers. The child was transported to OhioHealth MedCentral Mansfield Hospital for evaluation and turned over to Richland County Children Services.
The child’s mother, Jessica Fields, 22, was found at a separate residence and charged with child endangering.
METRICH searched the home as part of a rape investigation. Ramsey also was suspected to be involved in several drug investigations.
“When I found the suspect’s name, I put in a call to METRICH to make sure we weren’t crossing paths,” Scheurer said. “We met up and compared notes. They had enough probable cause to get a search warrant.”
A woman reported Thursday that Ramsey had raped her in the home. She confided in a parole officer after getting away from Ramsey, Scheurer said. The detective said the woman was in her mid-30s, but he declined to provide any further information on her.
Police also received reports that Ramsey had been keeping more than one woman at the home.
“There might have been other occasions of rape that occurred that are being followed up on,” police Chief Ken Coontz said.
Ramsey appeared Friday morning in Mansfield Municipal Court, where his bond was set at $250,000 cash.
“He’s not getting out anytime soon,” Scheurer said.
Anybody with any information relating to the rape investigation is asked to call Scheurer at 419-755-9748.
Mansfield detective and patrol officers, the Allied Special Operations Response Team and the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force assisted on the case.
“The whole thing was a combination of everybody,” Scheurer said. “It wasn’t just one agency.”
Originally published in the News Journal on March 22, 2014.