Washington Co. man accused of kidnapping, sexually assaulting W. Va. woman
WHEELING, W. Va. —
A Washington County man is accused of kidnapping a low-functioning Wheeling woman and taking her across state lines to engage in illegal sexual activity for four days in July.
According to U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld, Jesús Tapia, 37, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury in Clarksburg with five felony counts related to the kidnapping and sexual assault of a 19-year old Wheeling woman.
The indictment alleges that Tapia and another person conspired to kidnap the woman from a street near her home and take her to Washington County where she was held for four days so that Tapia and others could have sexual relations with her against her will.
The victim went missing on July 7 and subsequently a group of concerned citizens worked together to prepare a flyer and assist authorities in the search.
"The F.B.I. did a marvelous job in identifying a suspect, in gathering evidence, and in making an arrest in this case," said Ihlenfeld. "We are fortunate to have outstanding agents in the Wheeling F.B.I. Office who help to protect our most vulnerable citizens."
According to Ihlenfeld, other individuals remain under investigation and may be charged with similar offenses.
Tapia, who is being held at the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville without bond, faces up to life in prison if convicted.