Gloucester man arrested for 1985 Virginia Beach rape

A Gloucester man has been arrested after being indicted by a grand jury for a rape that happened nearly thirty years ago. Andrew S. Tarantole, 48, of Rangtang Road was charged with the crime September 5th. He is being held at the Virginia Beach Correctional Center without bond.

According to court documents, in April 1985, a man sitting on the Rudee Inlet Bridge asked a passing woman whether she wanted to get high, then whether she wanted a ride.  She refused both and kept walking, but the man followed her. He came out of the woods at General Booth Boulevard and Croatan Road and snatched her off the street. He raped her in the woods and tried to strangle and suffocate her before letting her go, according to a search warrant affidavit police filed in July. Police exhausted all leads, and the case was labeled “inactive” by the end of August 1985, according to the affidavit. Then this year, a systematic search of cold-case DNA turned up a match.

Tarantole has a history of sex crimes. According to state records, He was convicted in 1986 of attempted rape in Virginia Beach and of rape in Chesapeake, according to the Virginia Department of Corrections. After being released on parole, he was convicted in 1989 of misdemeanor sexual assault in Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, then in 1994 of abduction in Virginia Beach. He was last released from parole in 2001.

In 1989, when a judge reinstated his five-year suspended sentence for attempted rape and gave him another year for a battery charge involving a 17-year-old girl, a prosecutor called him “a remorseless sex offender who will not take responsibility for his acts,” according to a Virginian-Pilot article at the time.