Serial rapist sentenced to 20 years in prison for 1985 sexual assault

Andrew Scott Tarantole (Photo by Virginia Beach Police)
Andrew Scott Tarantole (Photo by Virginia Beach Police)

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A serial rapist was formally sentenced Wednesday to 20 years in prison for rape.

50-year-old Andrew Scott Tarantole, formerly of Gloucester, was found guilty after a four-day jury trial. The jury recommended he serve 20 years behind bars.

Prosecutors say that on April 13, 1985, Tarantole raped a woman that he didn’t know in the woods of General Booth Boulevard in Virginia Beach.

Gloucester man charged in 1985 sex assault

The victim had been out with her husband and friends at the Oceanfront. The victim was ready to go home for the evening earlier than the rest of her friends, so she decided to walk home. She passed Tarantole, who was sitting on a guardrail at the end of the Rudee Inlet Bridge. He asked the victim if she wanted to “get high.” She declined and kept walking. A few minutes later, Tarantole pulled up in a car and asked her if she wanted a ride. She again 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 ran.

The victim flagged down a passing vehicle and was able to get a ride home. She called police when she got home and investigators met her at a local hospital.

The victim underwent a sexual assault exam and evidence was collected. In the 1980s, DNA testing was not readily available and no suspect was developed at the time. The case went cold for many years. In 2014, the evidence was submitted to the Department of Forensic Science for examination. Ultimately, a DNA match was made to Tarantole.

Tarantole has prior convictions for rape, attempted rape, sexual battery and abduction for four separate offenses that happened between 1985 and 1993. All four of the victims in the cases testified in court Wednesday, and described his attacks on each of them.