Police: Oil City teen raped woman in park

A Venango County teenager allegedly raped a woman in a Tyrone park, according to police.

Tyrone police allege Robert V. Mertsch, 18, of Oil City pushed a 19-year-old woman to the ground and sexually assaulted her as the two walked on a trail in Reservoir Park about 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Police said Mertsch and the woman knew each other.

One police officer said the attack occurred in a wooded area off the trail after Mertsch asked the woman if she would have sex with him and she refused. Police said the woman repeatedly rebuffed Mertsch’s advances, and she struck her head after he pushed her to the ground.

According to court records, the woman had come to Tyrone to visit Mertsch and was treated and released from a Pittsburgh hospital following the alleged incident. She told the investigator that Mertsch told her, “Shut up. If you don’t cooperate, you’ll get hurt,” as she screamed for him to stop. The woman told police she yelled for Mertsch to stop and screamed, “No” throughout the alleged attack.

Police arrested Mertsch without incident at a Tyrone area halfway house. He is charged with felony rape and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse as well as misdemeanor counts of indecent assault and simple assault.