• Police arrest Beaver Falls man suspected in at least 15 sex assaults

    Police arrested a Beaver Falls man they say raped at least 15 people in 15 months, and they suspect there may be more.
    Jonathan Vance, 31, is in the Beaver County Jail on a $100,000 bail after being arrested Tuesday night by a task force that has been investigating him for weeks, authorities said.
    That bail is for charges involving one victim, but police say they're in the process of filing more charges against him.
    He is charged with rape, involuntary deviate intercourse, terroristic threats and related crimes.
    Police say before now, they hadn't crossed paths with him.


    Police said he resisted the arrest at his 25th Street home, but was eventually subdued. His wife and children were home at the time.
    Police said he pointed a power tool at them, which they initially thought to be a gun. 
    "He wouldn't cooperate, he wouldn't follow commands even at gun point, so yeah, he was very aggressive," Capt. Eric Hermick, with the Pennsylvania State Police said.
    The rapes occurred in several jurisdictions, including North Sewickley, New Brighton and Patterson Township, but most of the women were from Beaver Falls, police said.
    "We've had a task force operating since the end of July, trying to track down Mr. Vance," David Losier, Beaver County's district attorney, said.
    The task force formed after several sex assaults with similar descriptions of the suspect and his vehicle were reported, police said. More warrants and charges are expected to be filed.
    The current charges are based on an incident in which Vance picked up the victim as she walked down a Beaver Falls road around midnight in January, according to a news conference Wednesday. She agreed to perform a sex act for money.
    Vance drove his silver minivan to a cemetery and pulled a knife on the woman, according to the criminal complaint. The complaint goes on to say he told her he was going to rape and kill her and dragged her out of the vehicle.
    The woman screamed and bit Vance as he raped her, making him drop the knife. He began kicking and punching her and put her in a chokehold, according to the complaint.
    She was able to pick up the knife and ran to call 911, according to the complaint. Vance then fled the area before police arrived, according to the complaint.
    Using the victim's description of Vance and similar reports involving a description of Vance's vehicle and its license plate, police provided the victim and one other woman with photo lineups. Both women immediately identified him, according to the complaint.
    Investigators believe there are more victims and now that Vance has been arrested, hope they'll come forward.


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