A convicted sex offender is facing a new felony charge after police said a woman he knew told them he wouldn’t allow her to get out of his car on Monday.
Richard D. VanPamelen, 33, who is listed in court records as transient, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Rutland criminal court to a felony charge of second-degree unlawful restraint.
VanPamelen was released without bail but ordered to stay away from the woman.
The charge against VanPamelen is based on an affidavit written by Officer Nathan Harvey, of the Rutland City Police Department, who said he became involved when he was dispatched to the Rutland Regional Medical Center on Tuesday to speak with a 23-year-old woman.
The woman said she had been in a relationship with VanPamelen previously, but said on Monday, he held her against her will.
Harvey said the woman was a patient in the emergency department when he first spoke with her. He said he learned she had asked hospital staff not to tell VanPamelen that she was there. However, Harvey said when he got to the hospital, he found VanPamelen in the waiting room.
VanPamelen told Harvey he had picked up the woman from the hospital Monday and taken her to a tire store in Lebanon, New Hampshire, where he works. He said they spent the night in his car.
During the arraignment, attorney Mark Furlan, who represented VanPamelen, said his client lives in his car, which he parks overnight at the tire store.
VanPamelen acknowledged that he and the woman had argued and “he said some mean things to her,” the affidavit said.
VanPamelen said he lost track of the woman on Tuesday when he went to work.
“He later received word that (the woman) was back in the ED of RRMC. When he called them, they told him that she was not there. He did not believe them and responded there himself. I arrived shortly after and spoke with him,” Harvey wrote in the affidavit.
The woman initially told Harvey that she was “kidnapped” and claimed VanPamelen forced her into his car. But after Harvey reviewed security footage and told the woman he saw no sign she was being held against her will, she said she had a “hard time remembering,” according to the affidavit.
The woman said she believed VanPamelen was taking her to Manchester in Bennington County, where her mother lives, but he took her to New Hampshire instead. According to the woman, she was afraid of what VanPamelen might do if she tried to escape or call the police. She said he had threatened to drive into a utility pole and kill them both.
Harvey said he went back to VanPamelen and asked him for details about the argument with the woman. VanPamelen said he told the woman to kill herself because she told him she was leaving him and threatened to kill himself if she left him.
VanPamelen admitted the woman asked to go to Manchester and said he took her to Lebanon instead because he didn’t have enough gas.
Harvey arrested VanPamelen and he was held overnight on $1,500 bail at the Rutland jail until he could be arraigned.
Rutland County State’s Attorney Daron Raleigh requested Judge David Fenster set an unspecified amount of bail during VanPamelen’s arraignment on Tuesday but Fenster, noting VanPamelen had no charges of failing to appear for court appearances, declined.
If convicted of the charge against him, VanPamelen could be sentenced to up to five years in prison.
VanPamelen is listed on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry. His entry lists his crimes as attempted luring of a child into sexual exploitation and lewd and lascivious conduct with a child. He was convicted of both in February 2008.
The registry lists him as living in White River Junction.