Man accused in multiple rapes of girls
MONTGOMERY – A Louise Avenue man has been arrested on charges of allegedly raping four girls, ages 12 to 15, whom he lured to a family-owned industrial building on Thomas Avenue, where he brutally assaulted them sexually, according to state Trooper Paul McGee.
The assaults, allegedly committed by Caleb Scott Harper, 22, occurred between October 2010 and earlier this year.
“Each victim had been befriended by Harper,” McGee said.
In one incident, Harper, of 105 Louise Ave., enticed a 13-year-old girl to leave her house. He took her to the building “under the impression he had a surprise for her,” McGee said in an affidavit.
Once inside the building, Harper “grabbed the girl and touched her inappropriately. She said she did not want this, but he began to hit her and pull her hair, telling her to ‘shut up,’ ” McGee said the victim told investigators.
Harper then dragged the girl “by her foot to a table, threw her onto the table” and proceeded to sexually assault her, McGee alleged.
When the assault ended, the girl “stood up, grabbed her pants and cellphone, and ran outside” to Harper’s vehicle, McGee said.
When Harper joined the girl, he again “grabbed her hair and threatened to kill her if she told anyone what had occurred,” McGee said, adding that “due to the threat, the victim declined to prosecute.”
Another girl, who was 12 when she was first victimized allegedly by Harper, recently came forward to report that during a two-year period beginning in the summer of 2011, Harper raped her “seven times” in the building.
“This victim was always under the influence of alcohol during the sexual assaults,” McGee said, adding that Harper often lured the victims to the structure “to party and drink alcoholic beverages.”
The last assault involving the 12-year-old victim turned more violent, McGee said.
Harper allegedly “grabbed the girl, carried her into the building, took her cellphone and started taking her clothes off,” McGee said, adding that the attack only ended after the girl fought back and punched Harper in the face.
A third victim was a 15-year-old who reported that she and Harper engaged in sexual acts “once a week for six months,” McGee said investigators were told.
On one occasion, Harper asked the girl to go with him in his vehicle to buy more beer, McGee said.
“Harper cornered the victim at his truck, grabbed her and shoved her into the vehicle. He then drove her to a rural area,” where he allegedly raped her, McGee said.
“The victim has repeatedly told him ‘no’ and physically resisted, but she eventually lost her will to fight,” McGee added.
A fourth girl told police that she was raped allegedly by Harper and the attack ended only after she bit him.
These victims first came to the attention of police only after Harper was arrested on April 20 on charges of allegedly raping an 18-year-old woman in the 2100 block of Gap Road in Washington Township earlier that day.
Initially jailed, Harper was released two days later on $75,000 bail. Following a preliminary hearing on May 2, he was held for court on charges of rape, sexual assault and related offenses.
Arrested late Tuesday afternoon, Harper was taken into custody on two warrants. One involves the four female victims. In that case, he has been charged with a total of 30 counts, including four counts each of rape, sexual assault, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corrupting the moral of a minor, three counts of indecent assault, two counts each of simple assault, unlawful restraint, furnishing alcohol to a minor and one count of terroristic threats.
In the other case, Harper is charged with allegedly raping a 16-year-old girl on Gap Road in Washington Township in the summer of 2012, McGee said.
The teen reported that while she and Harper were attending a party together, he carried her to a wooded area and allegedly raped her.
During the assault, which lasted about five minutes, the victim “repeatedly yelled ‘no,’ ” McGee said, adding that Harper only stopped because his cellphone kept ringing.
Following his arraignment before District Judge Jon E. Kemp, Harper was committed to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of $150,000 bail.