Buffalo Twp. man accused of raping prostitute

July 24, 2013
Dennis Hopkins

A Buffalo Township man was ordered to stand trial for allegedly raping a prostitute behind a Canton Township convenience store in May.

Dennis Lee Hopkins, 32, of 116 E. Buffalo Church Road, was ordered held for court on charges of rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, terroristic threats, unlawful restraint, patronizing prostitution and robbery following a preliminary hearing in Central Court Wednesday before District Judge Jay Weller.

The alleged victim testified under oath that she was working as a prostitute May 18 when Hopkins picked her up as she walked along Walnut Street in Washington.

“He asked if I wanted to get out of here, and I said ‘yes,’” the 33-year-old woman said. “We started talking about our names. He was nice and sweet. We talked about going to a house in a trailer park off Route 18.”

She noticed a state police car and told him about it. He pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store on Route 18 (Henderson Avenue). They then pulled in behind another building.

“We started talking about payment,” she testified. “We needed protection, so we got out of the car and started to walk toward the convenience store.”

She said Hopkins changed his mind and only wanted oral sex.

“When we got back into the car, he pulled out a knife and held it to my ribs,” she testified. “He told me we were going to do it his way.

“I did everything he told me,” the woman added.

She said that after Hopkins forced her to have intercourse, she tried to get out of the car, and he unlocked the door and pushed her out. She said she did not have her shorts, but he threw them out the car window before driving off. The woman said he took her purse, which contained about $30.

Under cross-examination by defense attorney Wendy Williams, the 33-year-old admitted to drinking beer and smoking crack about an hour before meeting Hopkins.

This is not the first time Hopkins has faced such charges. In 2007, Hopkins was found guilty after a nonjury trial of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, indecent assault and rape for assaulting an exotic dancer at knifepoint inside a Carnegie motel room. Allegheny County police detectives charged him in connection with the 2005 assault. Hopkins was sentenced to six to 12 years in a state correctional institution.

Hopkins remains in Washington County jail on $100,000 bond. He was transferred there June 25 from the State Correctional Institution at Pittsburgh, where he was held on a state parole detainer.

After learning that attempts were made to contact the victim by a third party, Assistant District Attorney Kristin Clingerman asked Weller to include as a condition of bond that no one contact the victim.

Kathie O. Warco has covered the police beat and transportation for the Observer-Reporter for more than 25 years. She graduated from Duquesne University with a degree in journalism.

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