Buffalo Township man sentenced for raping prostitute

August 14, 2014
Dennis Hopkins

A Buffalo Township man accused of raping a prostitute behind a Canton Township convenience store in May 2013 was sentenced to a minimum of 8 years and a maximum of 16 years in prison.

Dennis Lee Hopkins, 33, of 116 E. Buffalo Church Road pleaded guilty Thursday to rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and robbery before Washington County Common Pleas Judge Gary Gilman. As a part of a negotiated plea agreement, Hopkins was sentenced to 8 to 16 years in prison for the sex crimes and 5 to 10 years in prison for the robbery. The sentences will run concurrently.

Hopkins was accused of raping a prostitute at knifepoint May 18, 2013, after he picked her up as she was walking along Walnut Street in Washington. The woman testified at Hopkins’ preliminary hearing the pair talked about going to a trailer park off Route 18.

While they were driving, the woman noticed a state police car and pointed it out to Hopkins. He pulled into the parking lot of a convenience store on Route 18 (Henderson Avenue). They then pulled in behind another building.

After a discussion of payment and what sort of sex Hopkins wanted, the woman said he pulled out a knife and held it to her ribs. He then forced her to have sex.

When she tried to get out of the car, she said Hopkins pushed her out. He left with her purse, which contained $30.

This was not the first time Hopkins had faced such charges. In 2007, Hopkins was found guilty 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 prison.

Assistant District Attorney Kristin Clingerman said Hopkins had only recently been released from his prior sentence when he was arrested in the Canton case. As a part of his sentence, Hopkins must undergo a sexual offender evaluation and pay restitution to the victim.

He will remain in Washington County jail until he is transferred to a state prison.

Francesca Sacco joined the Observer-Reporter as a staff writer in November 2013, and covers the Washington County Courthouse and education. Prior to working with the Observer-Reporter, Francesca was a staff writer with a Gannett paper in Ohio. She graduated from Point Park University with a dual bachelor’s degree in print and broadcast journalism.

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