Arrest made in Mercyhurst rape case

The Erie Police Department has arrested a 21-year-old Ohio man and charged him with the rape of a Mercyhurst College student early on Sunday, Oct. 6.

A warrant was secured by the Erie police for the arrest of Jason W. Barnes, 21, of Mentor, Ohio, on Monday, Oct. 14, charging him with rape, burglary, simple assault and sexual assault. Barnes turned himself in to Erie police on Tuesday, Oct. 15.

According to police, Barnes was on the Mercyhurst campus visiting a friend when he allegedly climbed through the window of an apartment building on the 3800 block of Briggs Avenue and sexually assaulted a female student in her bedroom at about 4 a.m. on Sunday, Oct. 6. 

Barnes is also being charged with indecent assault in connection with incidents reported that same day by two other female Mercyhurst students, residents of an apartment building on the 600 block of East 38th Street.

Campus counselors continue to urge any students with anxiety about the incidents to call for assistance, and increased security patrols by both residence life and police and safety staffs will continue.

Mercyhurst is utilizing the college intranet and all-employee and all-student e-mails to notify the college community about details of the arrest.

Any suspicious behavior or incidents should be reported immediately to Mercyhurst police and safety, 824-2304.

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