ELKHART — An Elkhart boy faces a rape charge following an alleged incident at a church in March.
Jonah Denning, 17, is charged with two counts of rape in a warrant for his arrest issued Monday. The Level 3 felony carries a punishment of up to 16 years in prison.
Bond is set at $25,000 in the warrant, which was issued in Elkhart County Superior Court 1.
According to court documents:
An officer with the Elkhart Police Department responded to Elkhart General Hospital on March 17 for a report of a rape that happened earlier that day. The officer noticed that the victim, who is under age 18, had bruising on her spine and multiple scratches on her upper back.
The girl said the rape happened that morning at a church at the south edge of Elkhart after she and Denning had been dropped off together.
During a follow-up interview with a police detective, the victim said Denning pulled her into a small, vacant room as they were walking around the building waiting for the first service to end. She described how she tried to pull away and told Denning to stop multiple times during the encounter, but he persisted.
The incident ended when a man opened the door to the room and said he could see them. The girl said she immediately texted her mother to pick her up.
She also showed police a text message exchange between her and Denning, in which she asked him why he didn’t listen when she said no. He allegedly responded with apologies and an admission that he “made the biggest mistake” he could possibly make.