RANCHO CUCAMONGA — An alleged pimp accused of raping and torturing two women was released from jail Saturday after prosecutors dropped criminal charges against him.
The prosecution of Tremaine Ulysses Smiler was dropped Friday — with his release from West Valley Detention Center coming shortly after midnight Saturday — because his victims couldn’t be found to testify against him, a prosecutor said.
With the victims unavailable, prosecutors had no choice but to dismiss Smiler’s 18 felony counts alleging torture, forcible rape, forcible sodomy and other crimes.
Smiler, of Ontario, refused to waive his constitutional right to a speedy trial, Deputy District Attorney Karen Schmauss said.
“If you have no witnesses, you have no case,” Schmauss said.
She said prosecutors will refile charges against Smiler, 39, if one or both of his alleged victims are found.
“I would file in a heartbeat if I had my witnesses right now,” Schmauss said.
In July 2009, Smiler allegedly raped a 17-year-old girl and burned her pubic area with an electric hair straightener.
The same month he allegedly burned a 30-year-old woman’s lips with a clothing iron, leaving her face disfigured.
Authorities believe Smiler was grooming the women, who he met in Ontario, to work for him as prostitutes.
Schmauss called Smiler a danger to the community. He was sentenced to prison 1998 for torturing and sodomizing a girlfriend, and he was again sentenced to prison in 2004 for raping a woman at knifepoint in Upland.
Smiler is not currently on parole or probation, Schmauss said.
Both the alleged victims in the case have active warrants for their arrest, Schmauss said, and if they are arrested they can be asked to testify against Smiler.
The 17-year-old victim is wanted for failing to appear in West Valley Superior Court to testify against Smiler, while the other victim has failed to appear in Pomona Superior Court on prostitution charges, Schmauss said.
“All is not lost, but these kind of victims are very difficult victims in this kind of life,” Schmauss said. “Finding them and keeping them is very hard.”