May 1, 2001 -- Canadian prosecutors added sexual assault yesterday to a list of fraud and assault charges against an accused fugitive grifter linked to elaborate scams from the Hamptons to Hollywood, authorities said.

A provincial judge in Vancouver is expected to finish a bail hearing today for accused con artist Christopher Rocancourt - a 33-year-old Frenchman who used a bubbly personality and phony claims to a Rockefeller bloodline to charm unsuspecting marks, according to cops in Suffolk County, Los Angeles and British Columbia.

Vancouver prosecutors announced Rocancourt would face one count of major fraud, one count of assault causing bodily harm, one charge of simple assault, one count of threatening assault - and a charge of sexual assault.

It's the first time a sexual charge has been leveled at the reputed grifter.

The court day ended before prosecutors could detail their case against Rocancourt, who appeared tired and haggard at his appearance.

Prosecutor Miriam Maisonville told the judge that Rocancourt boasted to a Royal Canadian Mounted Police guard on Friday night that he hopes to leave Canada before facing charges.

Outside the courthouse, defense lawyer Tim Russell said his client is innocent.

Rocancourt's Playboy-centerfold wife, Pia Reyes, also faces a fraud charge. She was busted with her husband Thursday night in the tony Vancouver Island community of Oak Harbor.

"It was all over in about 20 seconds," Oak Bay police Sgt. Ron Coull told The National Post. "He was more than a little shocked."

Reyes spent a night in jail before she was released and reunited with the couple's 4-year-old son, authorities said. She's been ordered to appear before a judge on May 14.

Rocancourt is wanted for allegedly skipping bail on charges that he bilked hotels and restaurants in East Hampton. He, too, is accused of skipping bail, in Los Angeles, for alleged passport fraud.