December 18, 2014

Elyria
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Man, 24, charged with raping 17-year-old girl

Tim Blakenship

Tim Blakenship

NORTH RIDGEVILLE – A girl who befriended a restaurant employee told police the man sexually assaulted her after she drove him home from work one night.

Timothy Blankenship, 24, was charged with rape Tuesday morning at his house in Berea after a 17-year-old North Olmsted girl told police he sexually assaulted her in March.

According to North Ridgeville Police Lt. Greg Petek, Blankenship was working at a restaurant in North Ridgeville when he met the 17-year-old girl, who frequented the restaurant with her family. The two met later through a Facebook group and struck up a conversation, quickly becoming friends.

Petek said Blankenship didn’t have a car so the teenage girl would often give him rides from his job to his home, which at that time was in the 34900 block of Cambridge Drive in North Ridgeville.

It was on one of these nights that the girl said Blankenship sexually assaulted her at his home, according to North Ridgeville police.

The girl reported the assault in April and police began investigating the incident. Blankenship, who moved to Berea while the investigation was ongoing, was found Tuesday by Berea police and marshals from the U.S. Fugitive Task Force.

He was taken to the Lorain County Jail, where he was being held on a $250,000 bond on Thursday. His next court appearance is at 2 p.m. on June 25 at Elyria Municipal Court.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.