Man sentenced to prison after breaking into apartments, terrorizing Kent State students

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KENT, Ohio — A Portage County man, who terrorized several Kent State coeds last fall, is heading to prison and newly released video reveals how police were able to catch the “night prowler.”

One of the students told a Kent Police dispatcher, “I was sleeping and someone walked into my room and I said who are you because I had to wake up and they ran out. I don’t know who it was or how they got in my house.”

Surveillance cameras outside an apartment building near the Kent State campus captured images of 43-year-old Roger Tooley, the man identified by Kent Police as the intruder who snuck into several of the apartments.

One of the victims was molested by Tooley and when police rushed to the complex, they found him hiding outside the building.

The victim identified Tooley as the burglar and as he was being booked into jail, he told detectives that they already had his DNA on file because of a prior felony conviction. He also told them they would find a Halloween mask in his car, which he claimed belongs to one of his four children.

On the booking video, Tooley is heard asking if he can call his wife and tells detectives, “I was really in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Kent Police said their investigation revealed that Tooley systematically cased the apartment complex and tried to open dozens of doors while covering his hands with his sleeves, which detectives believe spoke volumes about his criminal conduct.

Detective Norman Jacobs told Fox 8 News, “It isn’t the first time he’s done this, and that he is aware of what he’s doing. So by covering up your hands when you’re checking door handles, obviously you’re trying to keep your DNA and your prints off of something. You don’t do that without some sort of premeditation.”

When confronted with the evidence gathered by Kent Police, Tooley pleaded guilty to charges of gross sexual imposition and burglary.

On Tuesday he was sentenced to seven years in prison. When he is released, he must register as a sex offender.

Investigators said Tooley robbed the victim of her sense of security.

“I don’t think there’s any question that the victim will never be the same, never trust the neighborhood she lives in. The safety of her own house was violated, her own person was violated,” said Detective Jacobs.

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