Prosecutors filed robbery and assault charges Tuesday against three men accused of taking 14 employees hostage during a violent holdup at a Nordstrom Rack in Westchester.
Sexual assault allegations against one of the men could send him to prison forever.
Two of the men - Troy "Tru" Marsay Hammock, 29, an ex-convict on parole for robbery, and Everett Oneal Allen, 24, a cafeteria worker at a Los Angeles middle school - made their first appearances in a downtown Los Angeles courtroom Tuesday afternoon, where they pleaded not guilty. Each was charged with 14 counts of second-degree robbery, and one count of assault with a deadly weapon, a knife, prosecutors said.
Each man could be sentenced to 20 years in prison if convicted, prosecutors said.
Their alleged accomplice, Raymond Sherman Jr., a 34-year-old licensed security guard with a permit in California to carry a firearm, was additionally charged with sexually assaulting a female hostage during the ordeal. Prosecutors filed two counts of forcible rape, and single counts of oral copulation, kidnapping for rape and assault with a deadly weapon.
If convicted, Sherman could be sent to prison for multiple life terms, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office.
Sherman, arrested Saturday evening in Phoenix, remains in custody in the Maricopa County jail in Arizona. He must go through extradition proceedings to be returned to Los Angeles.
Two alleged female accomplices are suspected of aiding the men following the crime. Paula Roneshia Bradley, 29, and Sherman's sister, Rochelle Monique Sherman, 33, were each charged with being accessories after the fact. They also pleaded not guilty Tuesday.
Bail has been set at $780,000 for Hammock, $730,000 for Allen and $25,000 each for Bradley and Rochelle Sherman. All four are due back in court Jan. 28 for a preliminary hearing.
Police have released few details of what led the women to the three men suspected of barging into the Nordstrom Rack at The Promenade at Howard Hughes Center at 11 p.m. Thursday. The center is adjacent to the San Diego (405) Freeway at Sepulveda Boulevard and Center Drive.
The alleged gunmen forced 12 of the 14 employees inside into a storeroom. Two others hid in a break room. One of the female employees was sexually assaulted and another was stabbed.
The suspects escaped in a white sport utility vehicle as officers arrived. A SWAT team rescued the employees - 13 women and a man - about 3:30 a.m. Friday.
Police made the arrests over the weekend.
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