Accused serial rapist indicted in Portage County on 14 charges

Local News

A man who has been accused of multiple sexual assaults in several counties has been indicted on new charges out of Portage County. 

Shawn Wendling, 37, has been charged with four counts of first-degree rape, two counts of second-degree attempted rape, three counts of first-degree kidnapping, two counts of second-degree felonious assault, two counts of disrupting public service and one count of aggravated robbery.

Wendling was also indicted Thursday out of Poland Township and charged with two counts of rape, one count of felonious assault, two counts of kidnapping and one count of aggravated assault. Police say he raped a woman who was running near Poland Township Park

In September, his bond was set at $1 million after prosecutors said he sexually assaulted at least three women and attempted to assault two more out of Stark County. 

“He brutally raped and victimized multiple women in this county, along with Mahoning County, additionally committing offenses in Stark County, as well as in Pennsylvania,” Prosecutor Jared Smiley said.

Investigators had a DNA link between rapes in June and August at the Berlin Lake Trail. They had gotten the evidence off of clothing and a bike and because they had multiple reports of these sexual assaults, it was tested by the Bureau of Criminal Investigation. Testing to see if there was a match to another family member started in 2016.

The DNA also matched the rape near Poland Township Park on September 4.

He’s due back in court in Ravenna on Friday for another hearing.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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