Danbury rape, unlawful restraint case heads to trial
DANBURY — A Waterbury man accused of raping and holding a woman against her will last year is headed to trial after pleading not guilty to first-degree sexual assault and unlawful restraint.
Ralph Whyte, 44, of Starview Avenue, was charged with first-degree sexual assault and first-degree unlawful restraint after turning himself in to police on a warrant Jan. 27.
Danbury police launched an investigation March 2018, after a woman reported Whyte had held her against her will and sexually assaulted her in his Padanaram Road office, according to an arrest affidavit.
Whyte — who works for D&J Chimney Services, chimney cleaning service company headquartered in North Street Shopping Center’s Peacock Alley — was an acquaintance of the victim, police said.
The victim told police she had dinner and drinks with Whyte, then went to his office after he asked her to help him “move some things,” the affidavit states.
As she was moving an item from a room at the office, the victim told police Whyte made an inappropriate comment and “other remarks about her body,” according to the affidavit.
As she started leaving, the victim said Whyte grabbed her, forced her back into his office and raped her on a couch.
The victim drove home around 2 a.m., called Women’s Center hotline and was advised to go to the hospital for a sexual assault kit, according to police.
It was at the hospital that she called police, according to the affidavit.
Police collected a sample of Whyte’s DNA with a warrant and sent it out for forensic testing.
The results showed that his DNA matched evidence collected in the victim’s sexual assault kit, police said.
Police said the victim’s account of a sexual assault had been “consistent and detailed since her initial disclosure,” cell phone data collected during their investigation corroborated her account of the incident and surveillance footage was consistent with her story.
A warrant was issued for Whyte’s arrest Jan. 18, and he turned himself in nine days later.
Whyte is charged with first-degree assault and first-degree unlawful restraint — class B and D felonies, respectively — and is free on $150,000 bond.
His next court date is scheduled for Oct. 23, at state Superior Court in Danbury.
He is represented by New Haven-based law office of Pattis & Smith, according to court records.