Local Man Being Held In 3 Campus Assaults

ERIE, Pa. (AP) - An Ohio man who said he had sex with a Mercyhurst College student because he mistook her for another woman he met earlier in the night has been charged with rape.

Jason Barnes, 21, of Mentor, is also charged with indecent assault after allegedly breaking into an apartment and assaulting two other women earlier the same evening.

Barnes said he entered the Erie apartment building through an unlocked window in search of a woman he had met on the night of Oct. 5, according to the affidavit. He said he had met a woman in a bar while visiting a friend and spent time with her before returning to his friend's house, according to the affidavit.

Police said Barnes entered the apartment by forcing open a locked door. Barnes said he realized he had made a mistake only after the woman asked how he had gotten into the apartment, the affidavit states.

The student told police that she kept asking the man who he was and why he was doing this, the affidavit states. At one point, the man told the woman he was a football player who lived across the street, the affidavit states.

Police said they identified Barnes as the attacker after interviewing other students. During those interviews, Barnes became a suspect in the two sexual assaults that occurred about 90 minutes before the rape.

Barnes turned himself in to police Tuesday accompanied by an attorney and is being held on a combined $40,000 bond in the Erie County Prison.

A preliminary hearing was scheduled for Oct. 22.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)