BEDFORD, PA. (WTAJ) — A Bedford County man faces charges he raped a woman at gunpoint in 2019.
Dwight J. Imler, 26, allegedly used a stolen Smith & Wesson .40 handgun when he walked into a woman’s home the night of Oct. 9, 2019, and told her to do what he asked of her or she would be shot, according to charges filed by Freedom Township police.
It was at about 11:40 p.m. and Imler forced the woman at gunpoint to walk to a nearby mobile home that was vacant. Police said Imler tied up the woman with a rope, forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her before he drove off in a stolen dump truck.
The woman told police Imler hid his face with a mask and made his voice deeper, but she thought it was him and knew he was driving a gray truck.
By 2 a.m., Imler was in state police custody in Bedford where he was a suspect in numerous other crimes, including the theft of the truck and the gun, which had an obliterated serial number, police noted in the charges.
Imler denied sexually assaulting the woman and claimed he was at his camp all evening up until his arrest at 2 a.m. He claimed he knew the woman but said he wasn’t in that area and had no way of getting to Freedom Township.
Police said Imler’s DNA matched that from semen collected during a sexual assault examination performed the night of the alleged attack and rope matching that found at the crime scene was found in a backpack belonging to Imler.
Police pointed out Imler was wearing clothes that closely matched what was described by the woman when he was arrested a few hours later and he also had scratches on his neck he claimed came from briar bushes in the woods. Police contend the scratches were more consistent with marks left by fingernails than a thorn bush.
When Greenfield Township police Officer Tyler N. Grigg questioned Imler again on Nov. 6, 2019, he changed his story and claimed the woman and he had consensual sex. He denied knowing anything about a rope and claimed she knew he had the gun because he had it with him but didn’t use it against her, according to the charges.
Imler was sentenced to sentences ranging from a low of three months to up to three years in jail after pleading guilty in 2019 and 2020 to numerous charges in 10 cases in Blair, Bedford and Fulton counties. He is currently awaiting arraignment on the latest charges as well as the outcome of a pending Blair County burglary case.