Man pleads not guilty to rape of local teen

Errol Leon Vanpevenage, Jr., admitted to knowing the 17-year old was underage, and allegedly threatened her and her family if she broke off contact.

A Puyallup man has been arrested and charged with the rape and sexual abuse of a Bonney Lake teenager in 2018.

Errol Leon Vanpevenage, Jr., 55, was arrested Feb. 13, and pled not guilty to the charges during his arraignment the next day.

According to court documents, Vanapenage met the 17-year old through Chat Hour, an instant messaging and chat room website and phone app, in spring 2018.

Vanapenage was in contact with the girl for roughly a month, requesting or demanding she perform both sexual and non-sexual acts.

“There is a significant quantity of printed-out message exchanges between the defendant and the victim,” documents read, adding that they were sexually graphic in nature. There was also at least one video chat, which was recorded on Vanapenage’s phone.

Seemingly unrelated to the contact with Vanapenage, the victim’s mother took the girl’s phone away, but Vanapenage gave her another cell phone so they could stay in contact.

It appears the girl attempted to cut off contact with Vanapenage, and he began to intimidate her in order to keep talking to him, including threatening to tell her parents about their activities and burning down her home.

“The defendant said he was ‘upset’ with the victim for trying to end their communication, and his threats were his way of ‘trying to teach her a lesson,’” documents read.

At one point, Vanapenage allegedly coerced the girl to leave her home to meet him at a local hotel, where she was forced into sexual acts.

After his arrest, Vanapenage admitted knowing the girl was underage, but denied raping her. Court documents confirm that some of the messages sent between Vanapenage and the girl contradict his denial, but it is unclear to what extent.

Vanapenage is being charged for rape in the second degree, the sexual exploitation of a minor, the commercial sex abuse of a minor, and communication with a minor for immoral purposes.

Additionally, “the state expects to file a separate case charging the defendant with several counts of possession of depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct within a short period of time,” as he is the subject of another investigation involving child pornography.

Vanapenage’s bail it set at $2 million.

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