Police: York man raped girlfriend, imprisoned her during blizzard

Liz Evans Scolforo

A jealous York City man held the mother of his child against her will in their home, raped her at knifepoint and told her he was going to kill her while choking her, according to police.

James Clabaugh

James Robert Clabaugh, 30, of Grant Street, remains in York County Prison on $75,000 bail, charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, sexual assault, unlawful restraint, making terroristic threats and simple assault.

Clabaugh can't be released even if he posts bail because he's also being held on a county probation-violation detainer, according to prison records.

The allegations: York City Police were called to Clabaugh's home shortly after 10:30 a.m. Jan. 24 after the alleged victim was able to open a second-floor window and whisper to a neighbor to call 911 because she was being held hostage and raped, according to charging documents.

Arriving officers helped the woman and her 18-month-old son to safety, which was difficult because 3 feet of snow had just fallen, documents state.

The woman said that about 9 or 10 p.m. the night before, she and Clabaugh argued after he found messages on her phone from men, police allege. He was drunk, having swigged about  half a bottle of bourbon, according to documents.

Clabaugh used his hands to break the woman's cellphone in half, then choked her and said, "I will kill you right now," police allege.

He wielded a kitchen knife as he forced her to perform sexual acts on him, according to documents, which state he raped her at knifepoint and forced her to lick blood from his finger and another body part after he cut his finger while smashing a television.

Before falling asleep, Clabaugh blocked their bedroom door with a piece of exercise equipment and scattered clothes hangers on the floor so he would be alerted if the woman tried to slip away, charging documents state.

Whispered plea: Police said that when the woman needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, Clabaugh accompanied her and watched, asking, "Do you like this? Do you want me to go back to jail?"

In the morning, she was able to whisper a plea for help to her neighbor while Clabaugh was using the bathroom, documents state.

When officers arrived, Clabaugh instructed the woman to tell police he'd left the home, then hid under a bed, police said.

Officers located and arrested him after the woman told them several of Clabaugh's hiding spots in the home, documents state.

It is unclear whether Clabaugh has retained an attorney.

— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com.