Ratray, who denied the allegation over the phone with CNN, is currently facing domestic violence charges stemming from an incident in Oklahoma in which his then-girlfriend was not involved. He has pleaded not guilty to the case and has an upcoming hearing in October.
It was news of Ratray’s arrest in Oklahoma that prompted Lisa Smith to contact prosecutors about a police report she filed in 2017 accusing the actor of raping her in New York City. She wanted to know why her case had not been pursued. Prosecutors, she said, mistakenly believed she wanted to remain anonymous and not press charges. As a result, the case was closed, she said she was told.
Smith, who also reached out to CNN, said she was “devastated” that authorities did not fully investigate her allegation when she first came forward. She delivered emails that suggested the case was closed, despite taking steps to cooperate with the investigation, traveling from abroad to be questioned by investigators from the Manhattan Attorney’s Office, and later providing an article of clothing to the provided what she was wearing on the night of the allegation for possible DNA testing.
The New York Police Department declined to answer questions from CNN about the handling of the case. A prosecutor’s spokesman confirmed they were “in contact” with Smith but declined to discuss the handling of the case. Emails verified by CNN show that a prosecutor recently contacted Smith for information, to locate phone and text records, and to contact potential witnesses.
Ratray has not been charged in connection with Smith’s allegations.
Reached by CNN in a phone call last week, Ratray, 45, said he remembered the evening with Smith nearly five years ago but denied her rape allegation. “We didn’t have sex,” he said.
An attorney for Ratray did not respond to an emailed request for comment from CNN.
Ratray, who played Macaulay Culkin’s bully by an older brother in both the 1990 film Home Alone and the 1992 sequel, has enjoyed a long acting career. He has appeared in numerous films and television shows, including an episode of Better Call Saul last month.
What Smith says happened
Smith told CNN she had been friends with the actor for about 15 years prior to the alleged attack on Sept. 21, 2017. That night, she said, she met her brother, another friend, and Ratray at a bar in New York City. The group later went to Ratray’s Manhattan apartment for another drink.
Ratray was pouring drinks for his friends, Smith said, but he seemed determined to give her a specific glass. Shortly after drinking the drink, Smith said she was exhausted and Ratray encouraged her to stay the night and sleep on his couch.
She said she believes she was drugged.
“I remember waking up and not being able to move. I couldn’t really open my eyes, but I could hear what was happening and I could feel what was happening. I knew the other two people were gone, and I was still on the couch,” Smith said.
Ratray sexually assaulted her for what felt like “for ages,” she claimed.
Eventually he left her alone on the couch. It was sometime around 2 p.m. the next day, she said, when Smith was able to move enough to get dressed and out of the apartment, she said.
Smith said she was initially hesitant to report the alleged rape because she had previously been assaulted by another man and felt mistreated by police when she made the complaint and underwent a rape investigation. An NYPD source confirmed to CNN that Smith had prepared an earlier report.
The day after Ratray allegedly attacked her, Smith told a friend, her sister and one of her brothers what happened. All three people confirmed to CNN that Smith confided in them about the incident at the time. Her brother told CNN he feels guilty for letting his sister sleep on Ratray’s couch. Smith’s sister and two of her friends also confirmed that a district attorney recently contacted them about the case.
A day after the alleged attack, Smith texted Ratray to confront him. Ratray denied the attack over text, she said. Smith no longer has the lyrics, but a transcript of the alleged messages was in a separate text exchange between Smith and her sister, a copy of which was verified by CNN.
Ratray tried to portray the incident as a consensual encounter, per Smith’s characterization of his reaction, but said he couldn’t have sex because he was “impotent.”
The police intervene
A few weeks after the alleged attack, Smith, who had moved to Utah, said a friend encouraged her to file a police report, which she did.
An NYPD detective flew to Salt Lake City in November 2017 to interview her. In the detective report, which he filed Jan. 4, he checked a box indicating Smith did not want to press charges. But after that report was filed, Smith said she flew to New York to meet with the Manhattan Attorney’s Office for an interview.
Smith said she never heard from prosecutors, having flown to meet with the NYPD less than two months after her interview. She told CNN this made her “sad” and “confused” at the lack of further communication.
In the fall of 2018, almost a full year after Smith first reported her attack to the NYPD, she said she came across a stash containing the outfit she was wearing the night of the alleged attack, specifically the sweater she was wearing it was believed to have traces of DNA on it. She told the NYPD detective about her discovery and mailed it to him. She didn’t hear from the detective after sending him the clothes.
When reached by CNN, the detective who originally met with Smith declined to comment.
Smith cited her efforts to assist the investigation as evidence of her desire to prosecute her attacker.
“Why would I have even met with prosecutors years ago if I wasn’t prepared to press charges? … It was all very upsetting to me,” she said.
Following Ratray’s domestic violence arrest last year, Smith said a friend emailed her news about the case. She said reading his name in the headlines motivated her to contact authorities and CNN.
“When I saw him being accused of assaulting someone else, I realized I had to do whatever it took to stop him from hurting any more women,” she said.
In May, Smith said she met with a prosecutor in the Manhattan Attorney’s Office’s sex crimes unit, who she says apologized for the way her case had been handled.
The prosecutor told Smith that she “should have been offered victim counseling, at least all those years ago,” she said. “When she said I started crying as I realized this was the first time anyone had acknowledged how deeply affected I was or that I was traumatized.”