Police probe rape claim in Mount Carmel
MOUNT CARMEL - A 34-year-old borough woman who was seen half-naked screaming and pounding on doors Tuesday morning told police she was raped in a vacant motel room by a man who followed her after she left a local bar.
The victim, whose identity was not released by police, was transported by ambulance to Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg shortly after the reported assault at about 4:30 a.m. in Room 1 on the ground floor of Visintainer's Motel, Fourth and Maple streets, which has been closed for approximately three years.
Police said the victim underwent a forensic medical exam at the hospital.
According to investigating officer Justin Stelma, the woman, who resides a few blocks from the vacant motel, was suffering from trauma and had injuries to various parts of her body.
Police said the incident, which wasn't reported to authorities until approximately 11:30 a.m., is being investigated as a possible sexual assault, but they did not have any suspects as of Tuesday night.
Stelma, Chief of Police Todd Owens, Lt. Chris Buhay and Patrolman Matt Dillman began inspecting the motel at 3:30 p.m. after obtaining a search warrant from Magisterial District Judge Hugh Jones. They finished their search at about 5 p.m.
No vehicles were parked in the motel lot when police arrived. The only noticeable item in the lot was a small American flag that likely fell from a second-floor holder containing other flags.
In addition to gathering evidence related to the allegations, police were attempting to determine how entry was gained into the locked motel room.
Motel owner Henrietta Visintainer, who was at the scene Tuesday afternoon, said she checks the building every few days and didn't discover anything out of the ordinary during her last visit.
Angela Kenenitz, 45, of 47 W. Fourth St., who lives across the street, said she was awakened at about 4:30 a.m. after hearing someone crying and screaming. When she looked outside, Kenenitz said she saw the woman walking back and forth on a walkway on the second level of the motel yelling the first name of a man who was later identified as her husband.
Kenenitz said she initially spotted the woman, whom she doesn't know, exit a stairwell on the west side of the motel before walking across the second-floor landing and pounding on doors. The witness said she didn't see anyone else at the motel.
She claimed the woman appeared intoxicated.
Kenenitz said she was "too scared" to call police or 911, a decision she regrets and later called "stupid."
The witness said she saw the woman's husband at the scene at about 11:30 a.m. and allowed him to use her cell phone to contact police.
Assisting borough police with the incident were Mount Carmel Township Police Chief Brian Hollenbush and Patrolmen Brian Carnuccio and Daniel Politza.