Telephone call helps police stop rape

NEW CASTLE, Pa. — An interrupted telephone conversation helped catch a man sexually assaulting a city woman.

Police said a 59-year-old Highland Avenue woman was on the telephone with a friend when a man forced his way into her home and attacked her. Police said the woman on the other end of the telephone conversation could hear the attack and contacted authorities.

Police arrived at the victim's apartment at 10:24 p.m. Monday and found Shawn LaPenta, 34, of Highland Avenue on top of the victim. Her clothes had been ripped off and she had been punched, threatened with a knife and choked, police said. LaPenta was charged with aggravated indecent assault, burglary, aggravated assault and criminal attempt at rape. He is in the Lawrence County Jail after failing to post $15,000 bond. The woman was treated at Jameson Memorial Hospital.

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