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State police charge 5 men with sexual assault

After she was carried by force from a bonfire to a nearby dilapidated van, a 19-year-old woman was sexually assaulted by five men inside the vehicle, state police alleged in court papers.

When the woman was picked up in west end of the county by Lynn Kyle Jr. in the late afternoon of April 16, she thought the two were going fishing, police said.

However, Kyle, 21, and another man riding in his vehicle, Jalil Harris, also 21, drove to Kyle’s Woodward Township home at 1035 Northway Road, where they would spend the next several hours around a bonfire, police said.

By 9 p.m., three other friends of Kyle’s arrived at the bonfire, including Jordan Hockenberry, 19, of 20 Harvest Moon Park, Linden; Rahim Baines, 31, of 1119 Packer St.; and Derrick Meads, also 19, of 621 Grier St.

About an hour later, Kyle suddenly picked up the woman and carried her across a yard to a van, police allege, adding that the victim was then pulled into the vehicle and allegedly sexually assaulted by the men.

Kyle took the woman’s glasses and her cellphone, police said.

“The five men forced the victim to engage in a group sexual assault,” Trooper Michael App, the lead

investigator in the case, said in a criminal complaint.

Following the assault, the woman was left alone in the van as the men returned to the bonfire, App said, adding that the woman told investigators she felt “violated and ashamed.”

The victim put her clothes back on and returned to the bonfire, where some of the men laughed at her, App said. A friend of the victim’s came to the property and picked her up.

The victim and Kyle had known one another only about three weeks after meeting online, App said. The woman told police she “felt threatened and outnumbered since it was five guys against her,” the investigator said in an affidavit.

Kyle has been charged with involuntary servitude, sexual assault, criminal solicitation, indecent assault and conspiracy. Already jailed on other charges, he was recommitted to the Lycoming County Prison in lieu of an additional $150,000 bail.

Harris, of the 800 block of Park Avenue, faces charges of sexual assault, indecent assault and conspiracy. Already incarcerated, he was recommitted in lieu of $95,000 bail.

Meads and Baines have each been charged with involuntary deviant sexual intercourse, sexual assault, indecent assault and invasion of privacy. Both have been jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail each.

“I’m innocent,” Baines told District Judge Jerry Lepley during his arraignment. He was the only one of the five men to make a comment during their arraignment.

Hockenberry has been charged with sexual assault, indecent assault, criminal solicitation and invasion of privacy. He is jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.

Kyle and Harris were arrested and jailed in August on state police charges of allegedly engaging in sexual acts with a female minor and recording them on their cellphones.

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