Local News

Former Fayetteville Radio Newsman Faces 245 Counts Of Sex Offenses

Posted August 23, 2002 4:40 a.m. EDT

— A former radio reporter faces 245 counts of rape and taking indecent liberties with a child.

Detectives said three girls were allegedly raped repeatedly by Ethan Hess, 56, of Fayetteville. Detectives believed the alleged rapes occurred when the girls were 10, 13 and 14 years old. Authorities say the girls involved were the daughters of a family friend.

"The children did disclose at one point in time that the defendant threatened the use of a weapon if they did not cooperate," said Detective David Bloomfield, of the Cumberland County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities believe Hess may have been posing as an employee of a modeling agency to get nude photos of other girls he did not know.

"He had all these papers and everything, that he would pay me $15 a picture and it was supposed to be in a Belk catalog in Delaware or Michigan," said 16-year-old India Vaughn.

"At least one photograph was recovered, which indicated that there were other children involved. We have no idea who this young child is, but we would like to identify her," Bloomfield said.

Recently, Hess lived on the grounds of J&B Taxi. At the time the acts allegedly happened, Hess worked as a morning newsman at WFAY radio.

"We have no information and never saw any signs either way about the allegations against him," said Jeff Andrulonis, of WFAY radio.

Hess also worked for popular radio stations in Chicago and Detroit. He moved to Fayetteville from Chicago about three years ago.

Authorities said they found burnt debris behind Hess' house. They suspect that Hess may have burned evidence. Hess is being held on $1 million bond.