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Man charged in Franklin County rapes asks for jury trial

August 24, 2007|By DON AINES

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - A former Hagerstown resident charged with raping two women in Franklin County almost three years ago appeared to be on the verge of a plea agreement Friday in Franklin County Court, but instead has asked for a jury trial.

"We thought we had a plea agreement ... apparently Mr. Srun just decided to change his mind," said Assistant District Attorney David Rahauser, referring to Pov Srun, who is charged with sexually assaulting two women kidnapped in their own vehicles from shopping center parking lots in Waynesboro, Pa., and Chambersburg in September 2004.

"Mr. Srun wants to exercise his constitutional right to a trial," said his attorney, Gary Knaresboro. He also declined to comment on any details of a proposed plea agreement.

Srun, 36, formerly of 838 W. Washington St. in Hagerstown, is charged by Waynesboro and Chambersburg police with two counts each of rape, kidnapping, unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, terroristic threats, robbery of a motor vehicle, theft and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, according to court records.

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Srun is serving a 35-year sentence in Maryland resulting from a plea agreement in connection with similar crimes in Montgomery County in 2004 and 2005.

In Pennsylvania, a then-16-year-old Maryland girl was kidnapped from the Kmart parking lot on the night of Sept. 16, 2004, by a man who forced his way into her vehicle, drove her to another location and sexually assaulted her. Twelve days later, a 20-year-old woman was kidnapped and assaulted in the same fashion by a man who forced himself into her vehicle in the Weis Market parking lot in Chambersburg.

Judge John R. Walker ordered a pretrial conference for Sept. 6, and told Knaresboro and Rahauser to settle on a trial date in October by Monday.

Walker also issued a ruling this week in a defense motion to not allow testimony and evidence from Srun's Maryland cases in his Pennsylvania trial.

"The methods used by Mr. Srun are so distinctive and unusual there is a logical connection that proof of one will naturally tend to show that the accused is the person who committed the other," Walker wrote.

Walker also wrote that the DNA samples taken from a hat left in the victim's vehicle from the Waynesboro case and collected from a rape kit in the Chambersburg case were linked to Srun through the Maryland cases.

"It is necessary for the commonwealth to lay a foundation as to where and how the DNA evidence was obtained and that would not be possible without the admission of evidence from the Maryland cases," Walker wrote.

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