Teen rape suspect is released on bond

Police investigating additional possible cases

November 01, 2001|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

Authorities are investigating six to eight additional possible sexual assaults of teen-age girls that might have involved a 17-year-old former high school wrestling and soccer star charged Tuesday with raping three teen-age acquaintances in Carroll County within the past year.

"It's an active investigation and an ongoing investigation," said Carroll County Deputy State's Attorney Tracy A. Gilmore.

Nathaniel Jared Yinger of the 2800 block Basehore's Mill Road in Taneytown was freed on $50,000 bond yesterday after his arrest Tuesday on eight charges involving three young women, two ages 16 and one age 18. Charges include three counts of second-degree rape and second-degree assault, plus one charge of sodomy and one charge of second-degree sex offense. The possible penalties range up to 20 years in prison.

Maryland State Police Sgt. James T. DeWees, supervisor of the county's Child Abuse Sexual Assault unit, said police have asked that anyone with information on possible sexual assaults involving Yinger contact them.

Gilmore said such cases often are not reported right away -- if ever -- and pose a problem for investigators. In the current cases, two of the alleged victims had been drinking at a party.

"Very often, victims are embarrassed to come forward," Gilmore said, noting that friends and classmates often persuade victims to go to the police.

Yinger, who was in his senior year, withdrew from Francis Scott Key High School on Sept. 28, said Carey Gaddis, spokeswoman for Carroll County public schools, the day before the first case surfaced. "Because he's no longer a student in the school system, we would have no comment," she said.

DeWees said the investigation began Sept. 29 with a call from Carroll County General Hospital, where an 18-year-old was being treated as a possible rape victim. The other two alleged victims -- and the other suspected cases -- came to light as police investigated the alleged rape of the 18-year-old.

"Obviously in this case we have two late reports, and when we have what we call late reports of a sexual assault, we do the best we can to try to corroborate what the victim has told us," Gilmore said.

Because of the seriousness of the charges, Yinger was charged as an adult.

According to charging documents, the 18-year-old was raped at a residence in Taneytown about 3 a.m. Sept 29, after she became ill from drinking beer and malt liquor and passed out on a living room couch. She said when she awoke, she was picked up, put on the floor and attacked as she struggled to get away, according to documents.

In the only case that did not involve a party, a 16-year-old was allegedly raped in December at her home in Westminster, according to charging documents. She had just returned from school when an acquaintance -- whom she knew only slightly -- stopped by. He lifted her up and pushed her into a bedroom, where he held her hands and raped her, saying as he left, "Guys are different than girls, and you wouldn't understand," according to the documents.

The other 16-year-old was allegedly raped Feb. 27 at a Taneytown residence where she was drinking at a party, according to charging documents. A male was kissing her but she had refused to have sex with him, saying they were only friends, according to the documents. As she was going to sleep on a couch, she was raped, according to the documents.

She cried -- and he told her how beautiful she looked -- before two friends intervened and he left the house, according to the charging documents.

Most of the allegations involve Key High School students, police said.

Gilmore said second-degree rape involves the use of force or the threat of force; taking advantage of an incapacitated victim -- including a person who is intoxicated; or a victim younger than age 14 (or one more than four years younger, in the case of an adult defendant).

Yinger won county and regional wrestling titles in 1999 at 103 pounds, according to stories in The Sun, but quit the team as a 119-pound sophomore last year.

Yinger's parents put up their home as collateral to obtain his release on bond. The District Court commissioner ordered that Yinger have no contact with the three alleged victims.

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