Crime

Penn State student accused of rape, also a suspect in ‘numerous’ trespassing incidents

An investigation into a series of break-ins in Ferguson Township led police to charge a Penn State student with rape and sexual assault.

In October 2017, a woman reported she was sleeping in her apartment at 1003 W. Aaron Drive when she woke up to a man, later identified as Nnaemeka Ani, assaulting her.

When she asked who he was and what he was doing in her bedroom, the 23-year-old allegedly said, “I just came in.”

She then yelled for one of her roommates — one of at least six people in the apartment during the alleged assault — and told Ani to get off her. He didn’t and then fled the apartment, according to police.

After speaking with the woman, police said the circumstances and description of Ani matched at least 11 similar incidents dating back to the fall 2017 semester. The break-ins reportedly continued for about a year.

While investigating a suspicious activity complaint on West Aaron Drive in December 2018, police questioned Ani, who matched the description of the suspect in that case.

He later admitted to entering apartments in the area, according to police.

Ani’s DNA was then tested and a Pennsylvania state police lab report filed Friday confirmed his DNA matched that found at the scene from the October 2017 incident.

Ani was charged with one felony count of rape, one felony count of sexual assault, two felony counts of aggravated indecent assault, one felony count of criminal trespassing and two misdemeanors.

He was arraigned Tuesday by District Judge Casey McClain, who denied bail because Ani is a “strong danger to the community as the primary suspect in numerous similar trespass cases.”

Ani is being detained at the Centre County Correctional Facility.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 23.

Bret Pallotto primarily reports on courts and crime for the Centre Daily Times. He grew up in Lewistown and graduated from Lock Haven University.


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