Alleged rapist died by suicide in Pierce County jail

Errol Leon Vanpevenage, Jr., 55, was arrested Feb. 13, and died Feb. 26.

A man charged with the rape of a Bonney Lake teenager was found dead in his jail cell last week.

Errol Leon Vanpevenage, Jr., 55, was arrested Feb. 13, and told detectives he used the instant messaging service and phone app Chat Hour to have sexual conversations with the minor, as well as threaten her when she attempted to cut off contact and lured her to a local motel, though he denied raping her.

He was being held on a $2 million dollar bail when Pierce County deputies discovered Vanpevenage in his jail cell, hanging from a bed sheet, around 11:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 26.

It’s been reported deputies attempted to revive Vanpevenage. He was transported to Tacoma General Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead.

In addition to being charged with second degree rape, the sexual exploitation of a minor, commercial sex abuse of a minor, and communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, it was expected for the Pierce County Prosector’s Office to also charge him with several counts of possessing child pornography, according to court documents.

Vanpevenage’s trial date was scheduled for April 3, 2019. He pled not guilty to his charges.

He had prior convictions for possession of controlled substances, trafficking stolen property, burglary, malicious mischief, and theft.

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