Contention rape occurred

Trial set for Redondo man charged in alleyway shooting

by Robb Fulcher

A June 19 trial has been set for a man charged with shooting and seriously wounding a bar patron who, the husband allegedly was told, sexually assaulted his wife.

Anthony Starita, 32, of Redondo Beach, appeared in Superior Court Friday wearing a dark shirt, light slacks and a tie. He said only two words, "Not guilty," when asked to enter a plea to a single charge of assault with a deadly weapon.

Starita is charged with shooting Ali Sina Sharareh, 22, of Pleasant Hill after Starita’s wife told police that Sharareh had raped her in a Hermosa alley after talking to her in a Pier Plaza night spot about 3 a.m. New Year’s Eve.

Prosecutors declined to charge Sharareh with a crime after questioning him and Starita’s wife, and receiving inconclusive evidence from a forensic examination, police said. In addition, police said the woman has acknowledged a consensual sexual encounter with Sharareh on the same night she maintains she was raped.

Starita’s wife told police that a man matching Sharareh’s description, including scars on his neck from a 1999 shooting incident, raped her on 10th Court, west of Hermosa Avenue, Hermosa Beach Police Officer Paul Wolcott said.

Initially, she told police that the man had a brief conversation with her inside Patrick Molloy’s bar on the Pier Plaza, then followed her as she walked home and committed the assault, Wolcott said.

A few days later, during further questioning, she told detectives that Sharareh had performed consensual oral and digital sexual acts with her in a parked car after the two met at Molloy’s, Wolcott said. However, the woman continued to maintain that the rape occurred, Wolcott said.

"Whether it did or didn’t, I think nobody will ever know," Wolcott said.

A videotape shot by Sharareh and his friends, in the area on a vacation from Northern California, shows Sharareh talking to the woman and kissing her, Wolcott said.

Sharareh has been convicted previously of rape by force, and is registered on the "Megan’s Law" CD-ROM database of sex offenders, Wolcott said.

Sharareh was shot in the rectum on the night of Wednesday, Jan. 3 as he urinated in a trashcan in the men’s room at Patrick Malloy’s, authorities said. Police said the shooter was Starita, who searched for Sharareh based upon his wife’s description and a composite likeness prepared by investigators.

The husband walked into the men’s room and, in the presence of a witness, aimed his 9mm Smith & Wesson pistol at Sharareh, Wolcott said.

"This is for my wife," the gunman said, before firing one round into Sharareh’s buttocks area and fleeing, Wolcott said.

Hermosa police, aware that the husband had heard a description and seen a composite of his wife’s alleged attacker, went to his home, where the man admitted that he committed the shooting and turned over his gun, Wolcott said. ER