- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

MINEOLA, N.Y. (AP) - Hours after pleading guilty to faking his own drowning, a suburban New York man tried to abduct a woman and force her into his van, then chased her into the check cashing store where she worked, falsely claiming he was a detective chasing a prostitute, a prosecutor said.

Raymond Roth, 49, of Long Beach, went on trial Thursday on criminal impersonation, attempted kidnapping, attempted burglary and other charges - the latest in a litany of legal troubles the Long Island man has faced since he faked his drowning at Jones Beach in July 2012.

The same day prosecutors accepted a plea bargain in the fake-drowning case last March, Roth allegedly went to a Freeport neighborhood where the attempted kidnapping took place.

Assistant District Attorney Everett Witherall said Roth identified himself as a police officer and demanded that a woman get into his van in Freeport. “Get in the car. I am the police. You’re under arrest,” Roth allegedly said, according to the prosecutor.

The woman refused and ran into a check-cashing facility for safety. Roth followed her into the facility, but fled before police arrived.

Roth had pleaded guilty to fourth-degree conspiracy, and was promised a 90-day jail sentence in the insurance fraud case, but that deal was negated following his arrest on the latest charges. He now faces up to four years in prison in that case, which attracted national attention after Roth was spotted first in Florida and later in South Carolina before returning to New York, where he surrendered.

He later pleaded guilty to charges that he violated an order of protection by contacting his estranged wife. She was the one who initially told authorities that she suspected her husband’s drowning had been fabricated.

If convicted of the latest charges in the non-jury trial, Roth could face up to 15 years in prison.

On Wednesday, his son, Jonathan Roth was sentenced to a year in jail for his role in falsely reporting that his father had drowned in what turned out to be a scheme to collect about $400,000 in life insurance.

The younger Roth told authorities in July 2012 that his father went for a swim at Jones Beach and never came back. Responders searched for Roth for several days, while he drove to his timeshare in Orlando, Fla., prosecutors said.

Roth’s now-estranged wife found emails between Raymond and her stepson discussing the plot, and authorities were alerted.

On Aug. 2, Raymond Roth was issued a speeding ticket in Santee, S.C., and told police there he was returning to New York to meet with authorities. He did not show up for that meeting. He was arrested Aug. 6.

Roth’s attorney Brian Davis said Roth had been admitted to a hospital for psychiatric treatment and had tried to commit suicide there. Davis said Thursday that his client has received drug and alcohol counseling while in jail awaiting trial.

Davis conceded that his client thought the woman was a prostitute and added that Roth may be guilty of disorderly conduct, harassment, stalking and other charges, but not attempted kidnapping.

“A good portion of it was alcohol induced,” Davis said of his client’s actions. “He did believe the woman was a prostitute.”

He described his client’s actions as “a lot of big mouth bravado from somebody who really wasn’t in control of all his faculties.”

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide