New Castle News

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October 8, 2012

Police charge man with stalking teen

NEW CASTLE — An Ellwood City man is being held on bonds totaling $30,000 after police claim he stalked a girl in the borough.

James N. Woolheater, 54, also is accused of failing to properly register as a sex offender following a previous case in Allegheny County.

Woolheater is charged with one misdemeanor count of stalking and two summary offenses of driving with a suspended license. Ellwood City police allege he accosted a 15-year-old girl outside Lincoln High School on two occasions.

The girl told officers Woolheater had followed her in his vehicle and harassed her. She was able to provide police with a detailed description of the vehicle. Police said she was not physically harmed.

On Friday afternoon, officers patroling the area around the high school found a car matching the description given by the teen. Woolheater was identified as the operator and, when police checked his record, they said they discovered he is in violation of Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law for sex offenders.

Wooheater was arrested and arraigned before District Judge Jerry G. Cartwright, who ordered him held on a $5,000 bond on the stalking charge.

However, Cartwright set the bond at $25,000 for the other charges — felony counts of failing to register as a sex offender and failing to verify current address as a sex offender.

In 1994, Wooheater was charged in Allegheny County with aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault and corruption of minors. He eventually entered guilty pleas to those charges and received a sentence of five to 10 years in prison.

A preliminary hearing for Woolheater on the Ellwood City charges is scheduled for Thursday in Lawrence County Central Court.

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