Multiple people arrested on sexual assault charges

After being raped inside a camper in Lewis Township on then night of July 4, a woman told state police that “she was so mad that she punched the wall and felt extremely violated. She displayed fear, anxiety and anger,” Trooper Jonathan Thompson wrote in an affidavit.

Within hours, the alleged attacker, Nicholas Mitstifer, 20, was in custody on charges of rape, burglary, felony trespassing, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault, Thompson said.

The victim told investigators that she was asleep in a camper when a man “she knew only as Nick entered the camper and got undressed,” Thompson said.

The victim had to “continually shove his face away and tell him to stop,” as the man, later identified as Mitstifer, attempted to kiss her, Thompson said he was told.

“She told the man he was drunk and that he wasn’t welcomed” in the camper, Thompson said. The assault ended as another person entered the camper, the trooper said.

After reporting the sexual assault to police, the woman went to UPMC Williamsport, where she was treated by a sexual assault nurse examiner.

Taken into custody at 135 Green Hill Road, Ralston, where he has been staying, Mitstifer, who also carried a Florida address, was arraigned before District Judge Jerry C. Lepley and initially jailed in the Lycoming County Prison, but he has since been released on $95,000 bail.

In another sexual abuse case, Wayne Benson, 43, of 522 Route 442, Muncy, waived his preliminary hearing Friday before District Judge Jon Kemp on felony charges of sexual abuse of children, possession of child pornography, illegal use of a cellphone and two misdemeanor counts of illegal possession of obscene material.

The charges stem from Benson using a cellphone to take inappropriate photos of a female minor while she was in a bathroom in Muncy Creek Township in late June, state Trooper Brian Siebert alleged in court papers. Benson remains jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Also locked up on sex charges earlier this month was Jonathan Shaffer Snyder, 34, of 515 Logue Hill Road, Trout Run, who has been charged with felony aggravated indecent assault, felony sexual assault and misdmeanor sexual assault filed by city police Agent Brittany Alexander.

The alleged assault occurred in the woman’s car on the night of Dec. 1, while she, Snyder and others she knew through a friend “visited several alcohol establishments in the Williamsport area,” Alexander said in an affidavit.

“Throughout the evening, the victim had consumed several alcoholic drinks and was eventually cut off due to her intoxicated state” while at one of the bars, Alexander said.

While the victim had no recollection of how she and Snyder got into her car, she remembers that she was in the passenger seat and Snyder was behind the wheel when he began to “persistently” asked her to have sex with him and she said no, Alexander said.

The alleged assault then took place, including Snyder having inappropriate contact with the woman, the agency said. Snyder then got out of the car and and into a truck that was parked in front of them, the agent said she was told.

“The victim immediately locked her car doors and called 911. She told police that at no time was the sexual contact consensual,” Alexander said. Court records indicated the assault occurred in Center City.

Upon being questioned about the incident, Snyder admitted to investigators that he had sexual relations with the woman, knowing that she had been “cut off at a bar due to her being highly intoxicated,” Alexander said.

Initially jailed, Snyder is released on $99,000 bail. He was held for court Thursday after District Judge Aaron Biichle ruled at the end of Snyder’s preliminary hearing that there was sufficient evidence to hold him on all charges.

In another case before Biichle, Cole Johnson, 18, of 1153 Penn St., has been arraigned on a felony charge of possession of child pornography and a misdemeanor charge of corrupting the morals of a minor that were filed by state Trooper Matthew Miller.

The charges stem from an incident between March 8 and April 8 in which Johnson was briefly “in possession of a pornographic video he was involved in before deleting it from his cellphone. The video contained two minors (both teenage girls) and one adult female engaged in sexual (acts) at (Johnson’s city) home,” Miller said in a criminal complaint.

The video was actually recorded by one of the girls and everyone involved knew the girl was making a video, Miller alleged in an affidavit.

Johnson is free on $95,000 bail.

In another criminal complaint, Jason Kinley 34, of Mill Hall, was believed to be “under the influence of bath salts” or other drugs when officers confronted him as he was walking naked in the 200 block of Calvert Street in Jersey Shore about 10:10 p.m. on July 2, according to Tiadaghton Valley Regional Patrolman Cody Smith.

“I ordered the man to get down on the ground as he was walking towards me. I told him he needed to get on the ground or he would be tased. He turned his back and tried walking between two houses. He turned around and came towards me, yelling for me to tase him,” Smith said in an affidavit.

Even after being tased, the man, later identified as Kinley, resisted arrest by attempting to kick Smith and a second officer.

Kinley made quite scene as he was nude in front of many witnesses, including several juveniles, Smith said. Paramedics were called to treat him and try to get him to calm down, the officer added.

Following his arraignment before District Judge William Solomon on charges of aggravated and simple assault, indecent exposure, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and public drunkenness, Kinley was initially jailed, but has since been released on $50,000 bail.

In separate cases also handled last week by Biichle, two people waived their preliminary hearings on city police misdemeanor shoplifting charges.

Cassandra Marker, 31, of Reedsville, was arrested by Patrolman Clinton Gardner after she was caught trying to steal shoes, perfume and jewelry, totaling $144, from Kohl’s, 251 William St., on Nov. 16. This was her second shoplifting arrest, the officer said.

Fred Rickabaugh, 45, 1530 Randall Circle, was arrested by Patrolman Christopher Salisbury, after he fled Wegmans, 201 William St., with two packs of batteries that were valued at $19 on Nov. 1.

Marker and Rickabaugh are both free on bail.


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