Law enforcement officials are asking for the public’s help in locating an accused rapist and kidnapper.
Union County Sheriff Jamie Patton is asking for help to locate Jason G. Bender, 40, Marysville.
The sheriff is urging members of the public to, “contact their local law enforcement agency if Jason Bender is located.”
Officials believe he is driving a black, 2000 Honda Accord with Ohio license plate number HKC5242.
Officials believe Bender does have a gun with him.
“He is to be considered, what we believe is armed and dangerous,” Patton said. “We believe he is in possession of a firearm and we are cautious of that.”
About 2:26 p.m., Friday, the Union County Sheriff’s Office received a report from a family member about a 31-year-old woman who was allegedly restrained against her will for 12 to 14 hours. He said the incident occurred in the 13,000 block of Watkins Road.
The sheriff said Bender and the victim “were in a relationship.”
Patton said the situation “met our threat assessment to use the tactical team.”
“Marysville’s tactical team was used to gain entry because of the past of Mr. Bender and because of the use of weapon and that weapons were displayed,” Patton said
In a release, Patton confirmed the woman’s story, writing that, “during this time, the female was physically and sexually assaulted which resulted in injuries requiring emergency medical care.”
In an interview today, Patton said the victim is “safe, and that is the main thing. She is in a safe place.”
Patton said investigators got a search warrant for the home.
“The search warrant was executed. We had specific evidence we were looking for,” Patton said.
The sheriff said he could not discuss the specifics of evidence found at the home.
As a result of the investigation, the Union County Sheriff’s Office issued an arrest warrant for Bender. The warrants include charges of felonious assault, rape, kidnapping and weapons under disability.
“The warrants have been entered and at this point, I would say he probably knows and knows we are looking for him,” Patton said. “His best option is to turn himself in so we can get this taken care of.”
The sheriff said Bender “has had encounters with law enforcement in the past.”
Bender has multiple assault, disorderly conduct and criminal damaging convictions as well as a felony aggravated assault conviction. Because of the felony offense of violence, Bender is not allowed to have or be in the same home with guns. He has at least twice been ordered by the court to go through domestic violence or anger management counseling.
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