[Warning: Potentially Triggering Content]
Police in New York City are investigating a rape allegation against actor Devin Ratray.
Ratray is well-known to movie buffs for his role as Macaulay Culkin‘s bullying older brother Buzz in the Home Alone films. He’s also been in the news for other unfortunate reasons recently: late last year in Oklahoma, Ratray was accused of domestic violence against his then-girlfriend. That case’s next scheduled hearing is coming up in October. But this rape allegation is new — and shocking.
According to CNN, accuser Lisa Smith said she had been friends with Ratray “for about 15 years” before her alleged assault took place one night in 2017. That night, Smith told the outlet, she was hanging out with Devin and some other friends at a bar in New York City before the group went back to the actor’s place.
The woman claimed Ratray poured drinks for the group, and “seemed intent on giving her a specific glass.” Smith, who now believes she was drugged, quickly became exhausted. The actor invited her to spend the night sleeping on his couch.
Hours later after their friends left, Smith said she was overpowered by the actor. She claimed he sexually assaulted her for what felt like “an eternity” that night:
“I remember waking up and I couldn’t move. I couldn’t really open my eyes, but I could hear what was happening and I could feel what was happening. I knew that the other two people were gone and I was still on the couch.”
Finally, she says, he left her to sleep. Some time the next afternoon, Smith said, she was finally able to move enough to put on her clothes and leave the apartment.
CNN reports that Smith told a friend, her sister, and one of her brothers about the alleged rape the next day. All three people corroborated the story to the outlet, and said they encouraged Smith to go to the police. But she didn’t. Instead she texted Ratray about it; he allegedly denied any assault.
Several weeks after the incident, Smith moved to Utah. There, she was encouraged to report the rape by another friend. She finally did, and in November 2017, an NYPD detective flew to Salt Lake City to interview her.
Smith told the news outlet she never heard anything more from the DA’s office or the NYPD. She even mailed the sweater she’d been wearing on that fateful night to the detective involved in the case. But nothing seemed to come of it.
Oddly, the detective’s report includes a checked box indicating Smith did not want to prosecute the case. But she says she very much did — and even flew to New York later in 2018 to meet with the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office about it!
Angered at the apparent lack of movement on her allegations, she told the outlet she was “devastated” by how her accusation appeared to have been forgotten. She added:
“Why would I have met with the DA in the first place, years ago, if I wasn’t willing to press charges? … This was all very upsetting to me.”
Ratray’s arrest on the aforementioned domestic violence charges late last year further spurred Smith to act.
She explained to CNN that reading the actor’s name in headlines prompted her to inquire about her own allegation:
“Seeing that he was accused of assaulting someone else made me realize that I needed to do whatever I could to prevent him from hurting even more women.”
Finally, things started happening. In May, Smith met with a Sex Crimes Unit prosecutor. During that meeting, the prosecutor even apologized to Smith:
“When she said that I began to cry as I realized this was the first time anyone was acknowledging how deeply impacted I had been, or that I had been traumatized.”
CNN reached out to Ratray by phone this week. He again denied the rape allegations.
The NYPD declined to comment to CNN on their apparent handling of the case. Later, the law enforcement organization sent this blanket statement to People:
“The NYPD takes sexual assault and rape cases extremely seriously, and urges anyone who has been a victim to file a police report so we can perform a comprehensive investigation, and offer support and services to survivors.”
A spokesperson for the DA’s office merely told the outlet they “are in touch” with Smith, but declined to discuss the investigation further.
Ratray has not been charged at this point.