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Suspected serial rapist held on $1 million bond

By Justin Wier

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Staff report


A man law enforcement believe committed multiple rapes across three counties is in the Portage County jail on $1 million bond.

Shawn Wendling, 37, of Hillsville, Pa., was arraigned on one count of rape Monday in Ravenna Municipal Court.

The charge stems from reported sexual assaults on Berlin Lake Trail on June 14 and Aug. 13.

He faces the prospect of more charges after the case is presented to a grand jury. Poland Township police arrested Wendling on U.S. Route 224 Friday.

Officers said Wendling began crying after his arrest, and he confessed the crimes.

DNA testing linked the incidents to a report of a woman who was raped in Poland Township Park while jogging on the morning of Sept. 4.

Investigators also connected Wendling to two similar attacks June 14 and July 4 in Stark County.

Wendling has not been charged in the Poland or Stark County incidents at this time.

Investigators said they have no evidence that links Wendling to similar attacks this year in Mill Creek Park in Youngstown or Packard Park in Warren.