Attorney Withdraws from Representing Man Charged in Attacks on Ross Women
The man continues to be held without bond in the Allegheny County Jail.
The defense attorney representing 38-year-old Arthur Lamont Henderson, the man facing charges in Ross and Hopewell townships for the rapes of three women and in Ohio Township for the assault of a man, withdrew from representing him today, court officials said.
A preliminary hearing on the two Ross Township cases had been scheduled for Wednesday afternoon before Magisterial District Judge Richard Opiela, but it was postponed to Feb. 8.
Rodney Blaine Jones II first advised the court he was not ready for the hearing, and then late Wednesday morning advised Opiela he might be withdrawing from the case.
Later that afternoon, Deputy District Attorney Laura Ann Ditka, who is prosecuting the case, said Jones was no longer representing Henderson.
Jones did not respond to two phone messages left at noon and 4 p.m. at the number for his office provided in court documents.
Henderson remains in the Allegheny County Jail. A $2.5 million bond set in the Ross Township cases and a $1 million bond set in the separate Ohio Township case were both revoked earlier this week.
Ditka said prosecutors believe he is a person who can't control himself.
"It was such a series of violent and senseless crimes over a short period of time," she said.
Henderson has not been arraigned for charges related to the Hopewell Township sexual assault.
Henderson is charged in two attacks on local women—one reported Saturday, Jan. 7 at the Woodhawk Club Apartments complex on Johnanna Drive and the other Monday, Jan. 9 at the Cascades Apartment complex off Cemetery Lane. In both cases, the women, who are in their mid-20s, were attacked in the early-morning hours after returning from walking their dogs.
In the Jan. 7 incident, the woman returned from walking her own dog and her neighbor's dog about 9:30 a.m. She told police she was turning to close and lock her apartment door when a man she did not know shoved her inside while he held a handgun, according to the complaint.
The man demanded money and was given $70 in cash and credit cards before he sexually assaulted the woman and left her with her wrists and ankles duct-taped together, according to the complaint.
In the Jan. 9 incident, the woman told police she returned from walking her dog about 6 a.m. and found her fiance tied up in the bedroom and an unknown man with a gun in her apartment. The man told her to help finish binding the fiance with clear box tape, but when she struggled with the tape, the man forced her to use duct tape to finish the job, according to the complaint.
The man demanded money, and the woman said she gave him about $500 in cash and $1,300 in jewelry, including her engagement ring. The man then took the woman into her baby's room, where he assaulted her and bound her feet and mouth with duct tape, according to the complaint.
Hopewell Township Police also filed charges against Henderson for a sexual assault that occurred Jan. 7—the same morning as the first of the two that occurred in Ross Township.
According to the complaint, a 50-year-old woman on Westfield Drive reported that she was assaulted by a man in her townhome shortly after 7:45 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 7.
She said she left the home and then returned, went upstairs, and heard a noise from the lower level. She said she went to a bannister overlooking steps in her home and saw a man pointing a handgun at her. She told police she was pushed into her bedroom and sexually assaulted.
The man demanded money before the assault, she told police.
Two teenage boys were in the house at the time of the assault, she told police.
In Ohio Township, police have charged Henderson for the armed robbery and assault of a man Jan. 10 at 5:35 a.m.
According to the complaint filed in that case, a man returning to his business in the 8000 block of Ohio Boulevard in Emsworth was attacked by a man later identified as Henderson just as he was opening the door to the building.
The victim told police he was returning from The Meadows Racetrack & Casino in North Strabane when the man jumped from bushes, showed a revolver and attempted to reach into a pocket where the victim carried $4,500 to $5,000 in an envelope.
The victim later identified the man who attacked him as the man nicknamed the "Black Art," a man who shared an interest in poker and similar casino games, he told police.
State police said they identified that man as Henderson. According to records in an unrelated case, Henderson pleaded guilty after state police last year charged him with passing counterfeit $20 bills at The Rivers Casino Downtown and at a cafe.
The victim in the Ohio Township case was treated at Allegheny General Hospital for extensive facial and head trauma, according to the police.
Ross police have charged Henderson with two counts each of rape, aggravated indecent assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, burglary, firearms violations, indecent assault, theft and possession of instruments of crime. He has also been charged with three counts each of robbery, intimidation of victims, false imprisonment, making terroristic threats and unlawful restraint; and one count each of reckless endangerment and access device fraud.
Hopewell police have charged him with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggrevated indecent assault, burglary, criminal trespass, robbery, theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and unlawful restraint and making terroristic threats.
Henderson is charged in Ohio Township with aggravated assault, burglary, robbery, theft and persons not to posess, use, manufacture or control. He also faces misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment, unlawful restraint, and possessing instruments of crime, according to court records.
Henderson also faces federal charges that have not been detailed by police.
Those charges involved less-serious crimes than those he is accused of in Ross Township, according to Ross Det. Brian Kohlhepp.