Shawn Wendling, the Pennsylvania man who was arrested last week for the rapes of two women along a local bike trail, was arraigned in Portage County Municipal Court Monday afternoon.
The 37-year-old Wendling is accused of sexually assaulting a 68-year-old woman on the Berlin Hike and Bike Trail back in June before assaulting a 47-year-old woman near the same spot two months later. Additionally, Poland police also believe he harmed a 30-year-old woman in their town less than a week ago.
Investigators say they linked Wendling to the assaults through DNA evidence that matched a relative already in the state's database. He was officially charged today with first degree rape, and prosecutors requested $1 million cash bond.
Wendling, in denying he "forcibly raped" the women, asked the judge to lower the amount, claiming his desire to be with his father who has stage 4 cancer. However, the judge kept the amount at the requested level.
Wendling is scheduled to be back in court Friday at 9:45 a.m. for a preliminary hearing.