Washington County man accused of kidnapping, raping ex-girlfriend arraigned

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A Washington County man charged with kidnapping and raping his ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her was surrendered to police today, ending a nearly two-week-long search for him.

John Gallo, 40, surrendered at 11 a.m. before Magisterial District Judge David Mark, who ordered that he should be held in the Washington County Correctional Facility on $250,000 bail.

His attorney, Christopher Blackwell, said Mr. Gallo remained in the area while police were searching for him. Mr. Gallo's family contacted Mr. Blackwell on Wednesday and the attorney convinced him to surrender.

"Of course he was scared," Mr. Blackwell said of his client.

He added that Mr. Gallo is "anxious to ... prove his innocence" and plans to use messages, including Facebook messages, from the accuser in his defense.

Pennsylvania State Police in Washington said Mr. Gallo arrived at a woman's Canton home about 10:30 p.m. on Sept. 26. The woman asked him to leave and return 20 minutes later.

The woman locked the doors. When Mr. Gallo returned, state police said, he threatened to break in her windows, forced his way through the door and put the woman in a choke hold.

He told her he had a gun, put her in his car, drove down Route 40 toward a mine shaft and "advised the victim they were both going to die," state police said.

The woman told troopers Mr. Gallo threatened to throw her down the mine shaft and said he would "then shoot himself and fall in after her."

Instead, state police said, he raped her, drove her home and raped her again.

The woman tried to call police while Mr. Gallo was sleeping on the next morning, but told troopers that he caught her making the call and then forced her inside the car and drove off with her again. State police said the woman jumped out of the moving car and several people came t her aid.

Mr. Gallo faces charges of kidnapping, rape, assault, unlawful restraint and other crimes.

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Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 and on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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