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Charge alleges rape of impaired woman

State claims victim gave birth to boy; DNA links suspect

Vroom

– A Fort Wayne man is accused of impregnating a woman with a mental impairment so severe she could not legally consent to sex.

Allen County prosecutors formally charged Jarrod Lee Vroom, 38, with one felony count of rape Tuesday in connection with an encounter he had with the woman last year.

The woman – who is in her 20s and now lives in an out-of-state group home – has the mental capacity of a 4-year-old and functions at a kindergartner’s level after suffering from fetal alcohol syndrome.

With that mental capacity, it’s impossible for her to consent to sexual intercourse, according to Allen Superior Court documents.

In August of last year, the woman’s aunt and uncle were caring for her. They told police that her parents had at some point been killed in a neighboring state.

Although living out of state, the woman’s aunt and uncle were renovating a northwest Allen County home with assistance from Vroom, who was a described as a “handyman” for the owner of the property.

In court documents, the woman’s uncle told an Allen County sheriff’s officer that she, he and Vroom were doing yard work when he had to leave and get supplies.

The uncle told the woman to go inside to be with her aunt. He left for an hour, according to court documents.

Months later, in November, an accident brought the uncle to a hospital out of state. While there, the woman began having abdominal pains. That’s when doctors conducted tests and found she was six to eight weeks pregnant, court records said.

When interviewed by detective Brian Sell of the sheriff’s department, the woman said she did not go inside to be with her aunt that day in August after her uncle left to get supplies.

Instead, she stayed in the yard with Vroom, who in court documents she called her “boyfriend.”

While sitting in a chair in the yard, Vroom pushed her to the ground, the woman told Sell. Vroom then proceeded to have sex with her, the woman said in court documents.

Vroom declined to answer Sell’s questions without an attorney present during an interview in January. Still, a search warrant signed by an Allen County judge allowed Sell to take DNA samples from the inside of Vroom’s mouth, according to court documents.

The woman’s uncle told Sell he planned to have her pregnancy terminated. Those plans changed in February, according to court documents.

The aunt and uncle were no longer able to care for the woman and gave her to the custody of a nearby state. They were also unable to terminate the pregnancy, according to court documents.

In March, the woman gave birth to a baby boy.

Child Protective Services officials in another state placed the infant in foster care, with the intent that he be adopted.

Meanwhile, Sell attempted for two months to get a DNA sample from the child to see whether Vroom fathered the boy.

In May, an official with Child Protective Services told Sell the boy had died.

“While the baby was in foster care, it passed away possibly due to unsafe sleep environment,” Sell wrote in court documents.

With help from a medical examiner who performed an autopsy on the child, Sell was finally able to obtain a DNA sample. He was also able to obtain a DNA sample from the boy’s mother.

In June, those samples were sent to an Indiana State Police laboratory, which performed an analysis for the detective the following month, according to court documents.

“It is 175,000,000 times more likely that Jarrod Vroom is the biological father of the child than a random, untested, unrelated man in the Caucasian population,” Sell wrote of the test results.

“The probability of paternity…is 99.9999 percent.”

While a warrant has been issued for his arrest, Vroom had yet to be arrested or booked into Allen County Lockup as of late Tuesday afternoon.

jeffwiehe@jg.net

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