New Kensington man faces trial on rape, assault charges
ALLEGHENY TOWNSHIP — A New Kensington man will stand trial for allegedly tricking a former girlfriend to take him to an unoccupied Vandergrift house and raping her at knifepoint, a district judge ruled on Tuesday.
At a preliminary hearing, Randy S. Oden, 45, of 1000 block of Francis Boulevard, pleaded not guilty to all charges. A prosecutor dropped one of five charges, but Oden still faces rape, assault and three other charges.
The alleged victim, 27, testified that Oden, who isn’t allowed to drive, phoned her at work late on Nov. 29 to beg her to drive him to a Kittanning hospital because his brother had been in a bad car wreck.
The woman testified she obtained permission to leave about two hours early, got a ride home at about midnight, retrieved her SUV, and then picked up Oden.
Enroute, Oden asked her to do something else.
“He had me convinced to go to his sister’s house in Vandergrift because her car wouldn’t work,” the alleged victim testified. The Valley News Dispatch does not name the alleged victims of sexual assault in most circumstances.
But when they entered Vandergrift, Oden said he had to go to the bathroom right away and asked her to instead pull in at a rental property his father owns.
Instead of waiting outside, Oden insisted that the woman go inside the house at the 700 block of Holland Street, she testified, but she couldn’t remember details.
She said things changed when Oden came out of the bathroom and she asked if he was ready to go.
“He grabbed my arm and said we weren’t going anywhere,” she testified. “He told me that he had lied about his brother.”
The woman said the two screamed at each other before Oden pulled a knife and held it against her throat.
“He said the only way I’d leave was if he killed me and he’d use it to kill himself,” she testified.
She testified that she was pushed down and got up several times before Oden was able to restrain her, pull off her clothes and rape her.
She said Oden demanded that she drive him home but he left after taking her cell phone. She got back home at about 1:30 a.m. and was taken to Allegheny Valley Hospital in Harrison. Police were called.
She testified that she had numerous scratches and bruises, a bruised lip and black eye.
A court-appointed defense attorney asked if the woman had a romantic relationship with Oden, and whether she had driven Oden to the Westmoreland County Court House the morning of the alleged attack.
She affirmed their relationship and acknowledged that she had driven Oden to Greensburg so he could be sentenced to a form of probation for drunken driving.
Defense attorney William Charles Gallishen Sr. also asked if the woman told Oden that she was pregnant with his baby.
Assistant District Attorney Judy Petrush objected that the allegation was neither relevant or appropriate for a preliminary hearing and District Judge Cheryl Peck Yakopec agreed.
Yakopec also dismissed Gallishen’s motion to dismiss charges.
Instead, the judge held to court charges of rape, indecent assault, aggravated and simple assault and terrorist threats against Oden.
Gallishen asked that Oden’s $75,000 percentage bond be reduced.
Yakopec revised the bond to 10 percent of $30,000 and told Oden that if he is released pending trial, he must stay away from the alleged victim, obey the law and not drink or use illegal drugs.