Vader man charged for allegedly raping a woman in May 


A Vader man was arrested Thursday for allegedly raping a woman in May. 

Bail is set at $20,000. A no-contact order protecting the victim is in place. 

The man, identified as Forrest Dewitt Vandel, 24, is accused of raping the woman while she was asleep in his vehicle on May 21 after he refused to take her home, according to court documents. 

He and the woman had reportedly driven together to a stargazing viewpoint and got into an argument before she “told him she wanted to go home.” When Vandel reportedly declined to take her home, she reportedly called a friend and a relative to ask for a ride, but got no response. She then reportedly fell asleep in the back of Vandel’s vehicle while Vandal drove her from the viewpoint to his residence in Vader. She told law enforcement June 10 that she woke up to find Vandel raping her, “told him it was not consensual” and then “left his residence,” according to court documents. 

A deputy with the Lewis County Sheriff’s Office contacted Vandel at his residence on July 1. During the conversation, Vandal allegedly “would change his version of events that took place that night and appeared to be avoiding questions by talking about unrelated topics,” according to court documents. 

He was charged Tuesday, Nov. 28, in Lewis County Superior Court with one count of third-degree rape, which is a class C felony punishable by up to five years in prison. A Lewis County Superior Court signed a $50,000 warrant for Vandel’s arrest that same day. Vandel was arrested on that warrant and was booked into the Lewis County Jail at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30, according to jail records.  

Arraignment is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 7.