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July 12, 2014

Couple accused of contacting rape victim

NEW CASTLE — A man accused of raping a woman at gunpoint allegedly tried to get her to drop the charges.

He and a Mercer County woman, who is his alleged accomplice, are being sought by police.

New Castle police this week filed criminal complaints against Tylan Craig Huddleston, 19, of 1102 Booker Drive, and Kayla Bewley, 21, of Sharon, charging them for allegedly sending text messages to the woman Huddleston is accused of raping.

Police investigators were contacted by the Lawrence County District Attorney’s office last month regarding a victim who had been contacted by someone trying to get her to drop charges against Huddleston.

Huddleston’s rape case is pending trial, according to District Attorney Joshua Lamancusa.

Huddleston is accused in the Oct. 4 incident in which the woman allegedly gave Huddleston a ride to a convenience store and he put a gun to her head and ordered her to drive to Gaston Park. She told police he had ordered her into the back seat of the car and forced her to have various types of sex with him.

He allegedly told her that if she told anyone, he would kill her, then he demanded all her money and took $140 from her.

She told police that when she got out of the car to run, she fell and Huddleston caught her and hit her in the forehead with the gun, knocking her unconscious.

Among Huddleston’s 14 charges in connection with that incident are rape, aggravated indecent assault, aggravated assault, robbery, terroristic threats and unlawful restraint.

Police said the woman contacted an assistant district attorney about several text messages she had received on her phone beginning June 9. She showed police the text messages, which police learned were from Bewley.

One of the messages read, “We were talking and I wanted to ask u if there was anything I can do for u to drop the rape charge, he gonna take the pie for the gun but I wanted to ask if u would drop the rape or if u wanted anything to do it.”

The police did a reverse telephone number look up and applied for a search warrant for Verizon Wireless records. Police also looked at the call logs and recorded calls from the jail between Huddleston and the target number and found 51 of them between April 19 and June 22 this year that were to a woman who Huddleston refers to as Kayla or “Kay Kay.”

Police also reported that Kayla considers herself to be Huddleston’s girlfriend and they discuss visits to the jail between them, according to the recorded conversations.

The jail provided information that Bewley has been on Huddleston’s visitation records.

Police said that in one call Huddleston made to Bewley from jail he told her to text the victim and tell her he would take the plea for the pistol whipping if she would throw out the rape charge, and he provided Bewley with the victim’s phone number. He also advised Bewley to ask the victim if she wants money, police said.

According to police reports, Bewley is on probation in Mercer County from a previous conviction.

Huddleston and Bewley both are charged with intimidation of a witness or victim.

Huddleston also is charged with solicitation of another to intimidate a witness or victim. Bewley also is charged with criminal conspiracy to intimidate a witness.

Warrants have been issued for their arrests.

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