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Co-Star Held in Alleged Rape of Extra on Set

August 19, 1993|ANTHONY DUIGNAN-CABRERA | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A co-star in the sequel to the hit movie "Sister Act" has been arrested on suspicion of raping a 16-year-old extra on the movie's Downtown Los Angeles set, authorities said Wednesday.

Ron Johnson, 19, who co-starred last year in the independent film "Zebrahead," was arrested on suspicion of forcible rape and rape with a foreign object, police said.

The alleged victim said she was raped early Monday evening in Johnson's dressing room trailer on the set of "Sister Act 2," a comedy starring Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Najimy and Maggie Smith, police said.

"She said she was invited into the trailer of the suspect when she was attacked," Detective David Adair of the LAPD's Central Division said.

After calling a rape hot line, she was advised to go to a hospital and contact police, Adair said. Police arrested Johnson on Tuesday morning when he arrived on the film's set at 9th and Olive streets.

Walt Disney Co., the film's distributor, said in a prepared statement that company officials "are aware of the situation and are cooperating fully with the authorities in their investigation."

The movie is scheduled to finish filming Friday, despite Johnson's absence, a Disney spokeswoman said.

Johnson was being held Wednesday on $50,000 bail at Parker Center Jail. If convicted on both counts, he could face up to 16 years in prison.

In his film career debut, Johnson played a character called Nut in last year's "Zebrahead," a movie about an interracial love affair in a racially mixed urban neighborhood.

Johnson, a rapper who auditioned for the "Zebrahead" role after hearing about it on a local radio station, received positive reviews for his portrayal of the volatile Nut, a young black man enraged over the interracial romance.

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