Crime

Trial Begins For Pennsylvania Sex Offender Who Allegedly Stalked Boy And Left Love Letters

| by Lauren Briggs
Clyde Ruppel.Clyde Ruppel.

The trial of a convicted Pennsylvania sex offender charged with stalking began with a young boy describing Clyde Ruppel's strange behavior to a jury on Sept. 29.

The 13-year-old explained to the jury that every time he went outside to play at his home in Allentown, Pennsylvania, he would see his neighbor, a registered sex offender, reports The Morning Call.

"He would sit in his car," the boy said. "Or on the railing. He would just watch."

The boy explained that the man's attention made him feel "scared" and "awkward."

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The boy's father said he warned the 73-year-old to stay away from his son and reported the man's behavior to police many times, but Ruppel continued to stalk the boy. His advances began approximately two years ago, when the boy was 11.

He followed the boy home from school at least three times, NBC Philadelphia reports. Ruppel left the boy rose petals and letters on his father's windshield, inviting the boy over for "all male nights," police said.

"Call when you need me, so I don't have to walk down five floors, then not see you," one note read, reports The Morning Call. "I need to, so please call, with Mom and Dad's permission."

Ruppel then moved next door to the family and began watching the boy.

"This case is a parent's worst nightmare," said Lehigh County Deputy District Attorney Anna-Kristie Morffi Marks. "The defendant would just stare, and watch him play. Just stare and stare at him, and watch him play."

When questioned by police, Ruppel first said that he only wanted to be friends with the boy and his father but later admitted that he was sexually interested in the preteen.

"Have sexual thoughts gone through my mind?" he asked. "With [the boy?] Yes."

Ruppel is registered on the Megan's Law website. He has a 1996 rape conviction and a 1976 indecent assault conviction.

He also faced corruption of minor charges in 1965, 1975, 1976 and 1993.

Police searched Ruppel's apartment in December and found that he was growing marijuana.

Investigators arrested him on stalking and drug charges.

Sources: The Morning Call, NBC Pennsylvania / Photo credit: Pennsylvania State Police via NY Daily News