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Tohafjian claims he was ‘set up’

“I didn’t rape her. She set me up.”

Those were the words of Emerson “John” Tohafjian before he was arrested for rape and several other charges in June of 2018.

A videotaped interview of Tohafjian at the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office was played during pretrial hearings in his case Monday in county court. Tohafjian faces felony charges of rape and unlawful imprisonment for an alleged incident last June in Fayette.

He is accused of forcibly raping a woman in his vehicle, threatening to kill her and choking her, and throwing a cat carrier with a cat inside. He also faces misdemeanor charges of criminal obstruction of breathing, cruelty to animals, and criminal trespass.

About a month later, Tohafjian was arrested for the July 10 shooting deaths of Lori McConnell and Chuck Andrus at a Virginia Street apartment house in Waterloo. Last December, Tohafjian was convicted of first-degree murder in those deaths as well as assault for shooting Karen Zdunko, a friend of both victims. He later was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

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