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Rapist in Sex Scam Case Sentenced to Life in Prison

Courts: Richard Minsky promised legal favors to get women to pay money or commit sexual acts.

December 01, 2001|ANNA GORMAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Calling his crimes unthinkable, a Los Angeles judge Friday sentenced convicted rapist Richard Minsky to spend the rest of his life in state prison.

"Thankfully, there aren't many Mr. Minskys in the world," said Superior Court Judge Marsha Revel. "This is just pure evilness and sadisticness."

Revel, who sentenced Minsky to 146 years to life in prison, said the former used car salesman was a clever actor who had perfected his scam of convincing women to trust him.

A jury in October convicted the 57-year-old Minsky on multiple charges, including rape, oral copulation and grand theft. The Massachusetts native coerced eight Los Angeles area women to either pay him or engage in sexual acts with him from June to October 1998 by telling them their loved ones were in legal trouble and needed their help.

During his trial, prosecutors told jurors how Minsky preyed on women by posing as an attorney and convincing them to give him money or sex to get their loved ones released from jail.

They argued that he randomly picked names out of the phone book and called women from lavish hotels. He posed as a lawyer for a loved one supposedly in legal trouble, most often hit-and-run charges, and said their relative would get out of jail if a witness could be persuaded--by money or sex--not to press charges.

Authorities said Minsky would then instruct the women to meet with the so-called witness at various locations in the Los Angeles area. Some of the women were sexually assaulted.

"It's one of the cruelest crimes that anyone could contemplate," said Deputy Dist. Atty. Linda Loftfield.

Defense attorneys had argued that Minsky may have done something morally wrong, but that he never broke the law.

Minsky was arrested in Tampa, Fla., in September 1999. He had been profiled on television shows such as "America's Most Wanted" after Los Angeles police sought help finding him. His criminal record includes convictions for sexual battery, grand theft and extortion.

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