Accused York Rail Trail kidnapper, rapist facing new Megan's Law charge
A convicted sex offender accused of kidnapping a woman from the York County Heritage Rail Trail, driving her to a secluded area near his York City home and raping her in a car is now facing trial.
Following a brief preliminary hearing Thursday morning, District Judge Ron Haskell II determined enough evidence exists for Randy-Jay A. Jones to stand trial in York County Court.
Immediately after the hearing, Haskell arraigned Jones on a new charge filed by York City Detective Kyle Hower, the same detective who filed the kidnapping and rape charges. The defendant appeared via two-way video conferencing because of COVID-19 concerns, officials said.
Jones, who turns 42 on Friday, is now also charged with the third-degree felony of failing to comply with Megan's Law requirements. The convicted sex offender failed to inform state police about a vehicle he was driving, according to charging documents, which state he is legally required to do so. The car — a gold Chevrolet Malibu — was used in the kidnapping, according to Hower.
Hower was the only person who testified at Thursday's hearing against the 6-foot-5, 235-pound Jones, telling the judge that video surveillance from a nearby business clearly shows it was Jones who walked up behind a woman and pushed her to the ground between 6 and 7 p.m. Feb. 28.
It happened on the Rail Trail between Jessop Place and West College Avenue, close to Kings Mill Road, he said.
The allegations: Jones then forced the woman to a gold Malibu parked nearby while holding one hand over her mouth and his other hand or arm around her throat, Hower testified.
On the way, he ordered the woman to drop her purse and take out her contact lenses, according to the detective, who said Jones threatened to kill her if she didn't do what he told her.
Jones drove her to a different area, where he held a knife to her throat and raped her, the detective testified.
Hower said the knife was seized during a search of Jones' property. Hower said the woman's Fitbit and underwear — which were stolen during the attack — were found in the pockets of Jones' clothing during police searches. He also testified that the woman's socks were left behind in the Malibu and later thrown away by Jones' wife.
Jones said he'd never met the woman and initially denied any involvement but eventually admitted to having sexual contact with the woman, Hower said. Jones has denied raping her.
Locked up: Jones remains in York County Prison on a total of $210,000 bail, charged with the felonies of kidnapping, rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and robbery, plus the misdemeanors of unlawful restraint, false imprisonment, making terroristic threats, simple assault, indecent assault and theft.
The 31-year-old woman did not testify Thursday. She has previously told The York Dispatch that she is healing, is grateful to York City detectives and had never met Jones before.
She also said she's proud of herself for staying focused enough to remember descriptive details about her attacker and also proud she survived the attack.
"To see that I am capable of keeping calm in a situation and using my head? It's a really good feeling," she said. "It's a relief that he can't hurt anyone else."
Sex offender: According to the state's Megan's Law website, Jones was convicted of indecent assault in 2008, requiring him to register as a sex offendera.
Online court records reveal a Lancaster County jury convicted Jones of robbery, indecent assault and related charges for that incident, which happened in 2007 in Lancaster City.
In 2009, Jones pleaded guilty in Lancaster County Court to failing to abide by his sex-offender conditions, according to court records.
— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at email@example.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.