Man Accused of Rape, Assault on Walking Trail in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- A man is behind bars, accused of assaulting a woman on a walking trail in Scranton.

Scranton police were able to make an arrest Monday, thanks in part to the information the alleged victim was able to give them.

Investigators say the rape and kidnapping case appears to be random, but they were able to track down the alleged attacker because of the quick thinking of the victim.

That woman told police she was walking to work on Elm Street when she was attacked from behind and then dragged down the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail. She went on to describe a terrifying attack and kidnapping that lasted four and a half hours.

The woman was walking on Elm Street in Scranton on her way to an early morning shift Sunday around 2:30 a.m. when she says he was hit over the back of the head so hard she'd later need stitches.

Her attacker then dragged her down the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail and somewhere between Elm Street and Broadway Street, he bound her hands with tape and raped her.

The Elm Street trailhead is a busy area at all hours with people using the trail or walking to work like Lamont Bennett does nearly every day.

"The area is very dark, so you would think that anybody could mug you or attack you or anything of that nature. It needs to have more lights," said Bennett.

On Monday, police arrested Aaron Sherman, 25, of Tunkhannock, for the attack and rape of the woman Sunday morning. He's charged with rape, several counts of assault, and kidnapping.

The woman says Sherman trapped her in his pickup truck, driving her around for hours, and eventually raping her a second time in Luzerne County.

After four and a half hours trapped in his truck, the alleged victim told police Sherman asked her where she wanted to be dropped off. She picked the parking lot at Walmart in Pittston Township.

Police say that was a very good call. She was able to see Sherman's license plate and his truck was captured on Walmart's security cameras.

"Based on her description and a partial license plate, along with pulling some video surveillance and forensic evidence which matched perfectly to what she had told us, we were able to quickly identify and apprehend the suspect," said Scranton Police Chief Carl Graziano.

Sherman lives in Tunkhannock but works in Scranton as a maintenance worker for several rooming houses.

Chief Graziano says they're investigating to see if he's connected to any other sexual assault cases.

"He lives in another county. That's something we're going to have to look at further whether this individual has done this in other areas, whether there other reported and/or unreported incidents he may have been involved in," said the chief.

Police say that Aaron Sherman admitted to his crimes, every detail except for hitting the woman in the head. He's locked up in the Lackawanna County Prison and is due in court next week.

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