Man on trial for sexual assault says women chose him

To hear Ammar Harris tell it, he didn’t choose to be a pimp. The women chose him.

“They put me in that situation,” Harris told vice detectives about two women who worked as strippers at Little Darlings, lived with him and stuffed hundreds of dollars in cash in his drawer.

Harris’ interview was played for a jury Wednesday during the fourth day of his sexual assault and robbery trial. One of the women testified last week that Harris raped her in his shower in June 2010. In a separate case, Harris faces murder charges in connection with a Strip shooting that resulted in three deaths.

During his interview with detectives, Harris said the two women were “choosing up,” a slang term indicating that women want a man to be their pimp or “daddy.”

Harris told detective Catherine Hui that he was “naive” when it came to women and denied forcing the woman to have sex with him. He said the sex was consensual.

The woman told the jury last week that she had no sexual interest in Harris and was surprised when he joined her in the shower. She told him she didn’t want to “do anything,” but he forced her to perform oral sex on him before raping her.

The Review-Journal generally does not publish the names of sexual assault victims without their permission.

“I was scared. I didn’t expect that to happen,” the 22-year-old woman testified. “I didn’t know what to do.”

About two weeks later, she accused Harris of choking her, stealing $600 from her wallet and again sexually assaulting her in the shower.

The woman left Harris’ home shortly after the second assault.

Harris had told detectives the two women had taken advantage of him, as he paid for clothes and stripper work cards.

Detectives noted he had no viable source of income. But he told them he had saved $11,000 when he moved to Las Vegas and used that money to rent a two-bedroom condominium at The Meridian, a luxury complex east of the Strip.

Harris met the woman and her friend Ashley through MySpace. The two women, high school friends from Texas, moved in with Harris after a prostitution bust by federal authorities at their Henderson home.

District Judge Kathleen Delaney issued an order last week that prohibits the use of Ashley’s last name during the trial. Ashley testified Wednesday that she put hundreds of dollars in cash in Harris’ drawer because “that’s what I thought I should do, not because that’s what he told me to do.”

A third woman who lived with Harris also testified Wednesday.

Briana, who worked for a greeting card company in Las Vegas in 2010, testified Harris used her money to make purchases, disputing what Harris told detectives.

Wright said she moved with Harris to Las Vegas from Atlanta and fronted the money for the condominium and other purchases.

Harris, 27, is set to stand trial Dec. 2 in the fatal shooting of reputed pimp Kenneth “Kenny” Clutch Cherry Jr. The two were driving separate vehicles on the Strip early in the morning of Feb. 21 when Cherry was shot, causing him to crash his car into a taxi.

The cab then burst into flames, killing the driver, Michael Boldon, and his passenger, Sandra Sutton-Wasmund of Maple Valley, Wash.

Prosecutors plan to seek a death sentence if Harris is convicted in the murder case, and a sexual assault conviction could help them persuade a jury to choose that punishment.