Suspect apprehended for the 2019 armed rape at Ravine

Montelle Brown’s DNA matches DNA found in victim’s medical exam

Montelle Brown, 28, of Meadville was arrested by Meadville Police Department after his DNA matches that of the December 2019 rape victims medical exam.

Montelle Brown, 28, of Meadville was arrested by Meadville Police Department after his DNA matches that of the December 2019 rape victim’s medical exam.

Trigger warning: Sexual assault, violence, rape

A suspect has been charged with the armed rape of an Allegheny College student that occurred in Ravine-Narvik Hall in December 2019. 

Montelle Brown, 28, of Meadville was arrested by Meadville Police Department following a criminal complaint on Feb. 24. 

The District Attorney Francis Schultz identified Brown’s DNA sample as a match to the sample collected from the victim’s medical exam the night of the rape.

“When the forensic evidence was initially tested at the DNA Lab, Mr. Brown’s DNA

was not in (Combined DNA Index System),” Schultz announced in a press release on Feb. 24. “He was recently convicted of an unrelated crime. Pursuant to Pennsylvania law that particular conviction mandated that his DNA be obtained and sent into the system. Once his DNA was in CODIS, the lab determined that the DNA found during the sexual assault medical exam was a match to Mr. Brown’s DNA.”

Brown pleaded guilty to possession of a firearm without a license in Crawford County Court of Common Pleas in September 2020. Brown was sentenced to a minimum of 14 months and a maximum of five years.  

Brown was charged by the Meadville Police Department on Feb. 24 with 12 felonies and 10 misdemeanors regarding his alleged involvement in the December 2019 rape. On Tuesday, Dec. 10, Brown allegedly entered Ravine-Narvik Hall through an unlocked, exterior door and sexually assaulted a student at gunpoint.

The felony charges consist of three first-degree counts of rape, two first-degree counts of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, two first-degree counts of burglary, one second-degree count and one third-degree count of criminal trespassing as well as three counts of sexual assualt in the second degree.  The misdemeanor charges consist of four first-degree counts of indecent assault, four second-degree counts of indecent assault without consent and two second-degree counts of simple assault.  

Brown’s preliminary arraignment is scheduled for March 5 at 9:30 a.m. with Magisterial District Judge Samuel V. Pendolino for the Meadville area district court. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 19 at 9:00 a.m. 

“We are relieved that the alleged assailant is in custody and are grateful to the Meadville City Police for their expertise in conducting a comprehensive investigation into this crime, which led to this arrest,” the Office of Public Safety wrote in an email to the campus community on Feb. 24. “Our thoughts continue to be with the victim and her family.” 

Following the sexual assault, the college announced new security measures to ensure student safety.  

“The safety and well-being of our students are our highest priority,” the Office of Public Safety wrote. “The College consistently evaluates ways to enhance the safety and security of all members of our campus community and continues to make significant investments in providing a safe and secure campus.” 

Vice President of Student Life and Dean of Students April Thompson encouraged any students who notice any potential security concerns to report them to the college immediately. If any students have any ideas to increase campus security, they are encouraged to reach out to Thompson. 

“The emotions that students feel about this are shared by our employees, faculty, staff and especially those that live near campus,” Thompson said. “This incident shook the very foundation of who we are and caused all of us emotion, anxiety, hurt and fear across campus — this was not exclusive to just our students. Please be patient with your faculty and with the employees that you are working with because they are also feeling the same anxiety, fear and vulnerability that students are feeling right now.” 

Students in need of additional support are encouraged to reach out to the Counselling and Personal Development Center and schedule an appointment with a counselor.