WOONSOCKET — A 41-year-old ex-convict was ordered held without bail Monday after local police charged him with the forcible rape of a woman behind a downtown coffee shop over the weekend.
Alex Hardy of 551 Front St., has a long history of violent crime, including a 1998 manslaughter conviction in the shooting death of his 19-year-old half-brother in Providence. Hardy has had dozens of prior contacts with law enforcement and has done time at the state prison not only for homicide, but robbery, felony assault and weapons charges, according to the state Department of Corrections inmate database.
At about 1 a.m. Saturday, Hardy allegedly accosted a woman behind Aroma Cafe, 17 Front St., wrestled her to the ground and forced her to perform oral sex on him. Police reports say the woman, a total stranger to Hardy, managed to escape long enough to run across the street to CT Plus, where she asked a patron to call for help.
The 31-year-old woman was attempting to walk away from Hardy as the first police cruisers arrived, according to Officer William P. Strains’ report. The police observed multiple scratches and bruises on the woman’s face and throat. She was later transported to Landmark Medical Center for treatment.
The victim told police that she was tending to some personal belonging that she had stored near a Dumpster behind the cafe when she was first confronted by Hardy. She told police Hardy put his arm around her as she walked and “asked her to take a walk with him,” which she declined to do.
Hardy then put his hands around her throat and told her she was coming with him. She said she tried to fend off Hardy, but he was too large – he weighs about 230 pounds – and he forced her behind the Dumpster, where he allegedly raped her.
As she continued struggling with Hardy, he allegedly pushed her into a wall, at which point she managed to free herself long enough to run across the street to the convenience store.
Police say Hardy claimed the woman had robbed him.
Hardy was ordered held without bail at the Adult Correctional Institutions on Monday following a preliminary appearance in Sixth District Court, according to the judiciary’s database.
In addition to the new count of first-degree sex assault, Hardy was charged by state prosecutors with being in violation of his probation on a 2015 conviction for possession of a firearm without a license.
In 1998, Hardy pleaded no contest to manslaughter in the shooting death of his half-brother Calvin J. Scurry-Godette, according to previously published reports. Scurry-Godette had worked as a youth counselor at the Hartford Park Community Center in Providence.
The DOC’s inmate database says Hardy was sentenced to serve three years and six months at the state prison for the crime.
Hardy was paroled from his most recent sentence at the ACI – the one associated with the weapons charges from which prosecutors violated him on Monday – in October 2017, according to Deputy Police Chief Michael Lemoine.
Hardy is due back in court for another hearing on June 24.
Follow Russ Olivo on Twitter @russolivo