A Manhattan lawyer specializing in securities and commercial matters has been charged with committing a series of sexual attacks on New York City women that allegedly happened after he followed them into their apartment buildings and, in one instance, into a residential elevator.
Ra’Shaun Kelley—who has a Park Avenue office and whose Avvo online biography says he formerly worked in the general counsel, compliance and legal departments of J.P. Morgan and Credit Suisse—allegedly pushed one victim into the lobby of her building, put his hand over her mouth, put his other hand down the front of her pants and tried to touch her private area before pulling down her leggings, according to a criminal complaint.
In a separate instance described by another unnamed informant in the complaint, Kelley allegedly followed the woman into her building and then an elevator, where he pressed himself against her, tried to forcibly kiss her and began to touch her all over her body, the complaint provided by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office stated.
Kelley, 35—who it appears either practices solo or as the head of a small firm called Kelley & Associates—was arraigned over the weekend on three counts of first-degree sexual abuse and three counts of burglary in the second degree as a sexually motivated felony, according to the complaint and D.A.’s Office spokeswoman Emily Tuttle. His bail was set at $200,000 cash or bond, Tuttle said.
Kelley, through an attorney, has denied the allegations.
His alleged sex-attack spree occurred between Dec. 16, 2014, and Jan. 14, 2015, according to the complaint. But he is a suspect in two other, similar sexual assaults, according to news reports citing police sources. Those alleged incidents took place around the time of the same alleged monthlong spree, it has been reported.
According to a Daily News report, none of the women attacked were seriously injured.
The complaint and news reports made clear that the Manhattan Special Victims Squad built a case against him, in part by using DNA obtained from headphones Kelley allegedly left behind at an attack and from a fork taken by investigators from his garbage.
Reportedly, Kelley is a resident and native of Brooklyn and a graduate of Canarsie High School.
Investigators also used video surveillance footage, tips and witness statements to the attacks, reports say.
The lawyer who represented him at the arraignment, Christopher Carrion, issued a statement Monday: “The prosecution’s case is circumstantial and full of holes—from grainy surveillance footage to ambiguous identifications to an overzealous detective seeking to make a career on smearing the reputation of a fine lawyer. There is no evidence whatsoever that my client committed any crimes and we look forward to fighting these charges and clearing his name.”
According to his Avvo biography, Kelley advises companies and individuals on business, corporate and securities law. It also states that he is an “aggressive litigator” in commercial and securities cases who has a “track record of success defending corporate officers, investment advisers, securities professionals and broker-dealers under investigation” internally or by federal agencies.
He also represents individual investors in FINRA arbitration alleging claims of fraud, unauthorized trading and unsuitable investments against their broker-dealers, the biography says.
He graduated from New York Law School, where he was a John Harlan Marshall Scholar, an editor on the New York Law School Law Review, associate with the Securities Arbitration Clinic, a member of the Dispute Resolution Team and a competitor in several negotiation and moot court competitions, the biography further states. According to reports, he passed the New York bar in 2014.