Commonwealth v. Andrew Scott Tarantole; Jury Recommends Serial Rapist Serve 20 Years for Cold Case Rape

Friday, August 05, 2016

Colin D. Stolle, Commonwealth's Attorney for the city of Virginia Beach, announced today that Andrew Scott Tarantole, 50 years old, formerly of Gloucester, Virginia, was found guilty of Rape after a four-day jury trial.  The jury fixed his punishment at 20 years in prison.  Circuit Court Judge Stephen C. Mahan, who presided over the trial, will formally sentence Tarantole on November 9, 2016.

The Commonwealth's evidence proved that on April 13, 1985, Andrew Scott Tarantole raped a woman, unknown to him, in the woods off General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach.  The victim had been out with her husband and some friends at the oceanfront. Eventually the victim was ready to go home for the evening earlier than the rest of her group of friends, so she decided to walk home.  She passed Tarantole, who was sitting on the guardrail at the end of the Rudee Inlet Bridge.  He asked if she wanted to "get high" and she declined and kept walking.  A few minutes later, Tarantole pulled up in a car and asked her if she wanted a ride. Again, she declined and kept walking. The next thing she knew, Tarantole came up behind her on foot, pulled her into the woods, and raped her.  He then fled on foot. The victim flagged down a passing vehicle and was able to get a ride home. She called police as soon as she got home, and investigators met her at a local hospital.

The victim underwent a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (SANE exam) where evidence, to include seminal fluid, was collected and preserved. In the 1980s, scientific testing was limited, and DNA testing was not readily available.  No suspect was developed at that time; therefore the case went cold for many years. In 2014, the seminal fluid was submitted to the Department of Forensic Science (DFS) for examination and to see if a suspect could be identified.  Ultimately a DNA match was made to Andrew Scott Tarantole. 

Tarantole has prior convictions for Rape, Attempted Rape, Sexual Battery, and Abduction, for four (4) separate offenses that occurred between 1985 and 1993.​

Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys Wendy Alexander and Brian M. Latuga prosecuted this case. Please contact Macie Allen if additional information is desired.

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