Arthur Lamont Henderson pled not guilty in a preliminary hearing today to the charges he faces in Ross for the rapes and robberies of two women in early January.
Henderson, 38, of the North Side, also pled not guilty to charges related to the rape and robbery of a third woman in Hopewell Township and the assault of a man in Ohio Township.
All four attacks took place within a four day period, between Jan. 7 and Jan. 10.
All four cases were consolidated for today's hearing and brought specially before Magisterial District Judge Richard Opiela to preside over.
Opiela held all charges for trial, said Mike Manko, the spokesman for the Allegheny County District Attorney's Office.
Henderson will remain 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 in January. A $250,000 bond originally set in the Hopewell Township case was also revoked.
Henderson also has a hold placed on his release by the U.S. Marshal's Office, according to the court records. The hold is related to federal charges that have not been detailed by police and are contained in a sealed warrant.
Wendy Lynne Williams, the attorney representing Henderson, said she does not expect to ask for another bond hearing unless there is a substantial change in the circumstances.
Williams was hired by Henderson's family about a week and a half ago to represent Henderson, she said.
The preliminary hearing was rescheduled last month after Henderson's first attorney, Rodney Blaine Jones II withdrew from the case.
"He is asserting his innocence," she said.
She said the soonest she expects a trial date will be in the fall, and that she will press to have each of the cases tried separately.
All there of the women who were sexually attacked testified Friday against Henderson, according to local news reports. WTAE reported that the one of the women attacked in Ross outside the Woodhawk Club Apartments Jan. 7 spoke to the man twice before she was attacked, once to say good morning as she passed him and the other time to apologize for her dog jumping on him.
CBS reported that the woman said Henderson made her lock up her dog before he sexually attacked her.
His next court date, a formal arraignment, is scheduled for March 29, according to the results of the hearing recorded in the Allegheny County court records department.
The charges against Henderson stem from two attacks on Ross Township 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.