West Chester woman sexually assaulted by scam artist posing as contractor: Police

Wednesday, November 29, 2023
West Chester woman sexually assaulted by scam artist posing as contractor: Police
West Chester woman sexually assaulted by scam artist posing as contractor: Police

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) -- Police in West Chester, Pennsylvania are investigating after a woman was sexually assaulted by a scam artist going door-to-door pretending to be a contractor.

Officers were called to a home in the borough around 2:36 p.m. on Wednesday, November 22.

The victim told police three men were going door-to-door soliciting home repairs.

One of the men, who the victim said identified himself as "Jimmy," said he was a contractor and began discussing repairs to items such as roofs, brick, and siding.

Police say the man gave the victim a card with the name of a business and phone number that investigators later determined to be fake.

The men even carried fake IDs and receipt books to support their false story, according to investigators.

The victim told police that's when the man entered her home and sexually assaulted her.

Police say they later called the number on the card and arranged a meeting. Two of the men showed up and were taken into custody.

The suspects were identified as James McDonagh of Ireland and John Delaney of England.

James McDonagh and John Delaney

Investigators say neither McDonagh nor Delaney have a fixed residence in the United States.

McDonagh is the man who identified himself as "Jimmy," police say.

McDonagh has been charged with aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault. Delaney is charged with deceptive business practices, operating a vehicle with a fraudulent license plate, and other related charges.

The suspects' fake business was called "Everest Roofing and Masonry." It has a detailed website, which cites previous projects and has glowing reviews.

People in the area say they're concerned after this incident, and that the crime is surprising.

"I feel like the world is really crazy right now," one resident told Action News. "I wish stuff like this wouldn't happen, but unfortunately it continues to."

"Definitely a scary thing," added Matthew Turse from West Chester. "Sounds like they knew what they were doing, and that they had that in mind."

Turse said it's not uncommon to have contractors knocking on your door in the area.

Now, Turse and others are trying to remain vigilant for other complex and dangerous scams.

"We're a small town, very friendly most of the time. Definitely keeps us on edge hearing about something like that," he said.

West Chester Police are asking anyone who had contact with the men or who placed any deposits on a home repair to contact West Chester Police Detectives at 610-436-1337.