LAFAYETTE — Jason Wilhelm’s alleged nationwide trail of crimes started in Lafayette and ended in Las Vegas.
In between his arrests here and in Nevada, Wilhelm is accused of crimes in Cookeville, Tennessee, and Key West, Florida, according to Tippecanoe County Sheriff’s Office and court documents.
Las Vegas police arrested Wilhelm on Oct. 15 on drug-related allegations, according to police in Lafayette. He was released, but when Las Vegas police learned of warrants from Tippecanoe County and Putnam County, Tennessee, they arrested him again on Oct. 17.
The Journal & Courier contacted the Las Vegas Police Department and requested the factual circumstances of Wilhelm’s arrest there. Police had not responded by press time.
Starting in Lafayette, Wilhelm is suspected of 11 rapes cases in Lafayette, according to a Putnam County, Tennessee affidavit.
The Miami Herald reported that Wilhelm used a date-rape drug in his assaults here.
Tippecanoe County sheriff’s Detective Jon Eads did not confirm the date-rape drug in the rapes here, but he confirmed Tuesday that Wilhelm is a suspect in several sexual assault cases that allegedly happened at Wilhelm’s home at 1627 Eisenhower Court in Lafayette.
Deputies arrested Wilhelm early Sept. 5 at his home after he battered a woman who refused to have sex with him, according to court records.
Wilhelm had called two women to his house late Sept. 4 and early Sept. 5. He planned to watch them have sex with each other, according to police reports. When one of the women refused to have sex with Wilhelm, he became angry and battered her.
He was charged with battery resulting in bodily injury and interfering with reporting a crime — both misdemeanor charges.
Wilhelm bonded out of the Tippecanoe County Jail on Sept. 12, and six days later, he was in Putnam County, Tennessee, where he is accused of stealing firearms, according to a Tennessee affidavit that accompanied an Oct. 1 petition in Tippecanoe County to revoke his bond.
The Miami Herald reported that Wilhelm stopped in Tennessee at the invitation of a friend he’d met on social media.
The Tennessee affidavit indicates Wilhelm showed up on Sept. 18. They talked about cars and shot the victim’s guns.
The victim left the residence and allowed Wilhelm to stay there to rest. When the victim returned home, Wilhelm and $1,400 worth of firearms were gone, according to the affidavit.
The Miami Herald reported that Wilhelm drugged the victim before stealing his firearms. Eads declined to comment on the specifics of the Tennessee investigation.
Wilhelm is wanted in Putnam County, Tennessee, on charges of a felon in possession of a firearm and theft, according to arrest warrants.
On Oct. 5, a Key Largo woman kicked Wilhelm out of her house where she’d allowed him to stay for 10 days, according to the Miami Herald report. She told police that he had two rifles with him when he left, and he pawned them.
Police there found a pistol at the pawn shop that had been stolen from the Tennessee home, according to the Miami Herald.
Wilhelm then showed up in Las Vegas on Oct. 15, where he was arrested and released on drug-related allegations, Eads said.
Las Vegas police arrested Wilhelm again on Oct. 17 after warrants showed up, Eads said.
On Nov. 1, Wilhelm returned to Key West, where Monroe County, Florida, officers arrested him on falsifying his ID to pawn a gun, entering the Keys without registering as a convicted felon and a felon in possession of ammunition, according to the Miami Herald.
He also was charged in Monroe County, Florida, with using another person’s ID to get a money order, according to the Miami Herald.
Additionally, a federal grand jury indicted Wilhelm of possession of a firearm by a felon, which carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison, according to the Miami Herald.
Wilhelm is incarcerated at the Monroe County, Florida, Detention Center in lieu of $125,000 bond.
Reach Ron Wilkins at 765-420-5231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.
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