Schenectady County

Attempted murder, rape charged

An Albany man accused earlier this year of kidnapping three women now faces charges of attempted mur
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An Albany man accused earlier this year of kidnapping three women now faces charges of attempted murder and rape, authorities said.

Joseph Kruppenbacher, 62, of 15 Besch Ave., was indicted by a Schenectady County grand jury on Friday on two counts of second-degree attempted murder and one count of first-degree rape.

He also faces a host of other counts of unlawful imprisonment, assault and attempted assault.

In one case, Kruppenbacher is accused of kidnapping a woman Jan. 13 on Route 7 in Rotterdam and then attempting to kill her by driving at high speed toward a remote destination, displaying a knife and threatening her, according to the indictment reported Friday morning.

Kruppenbacher is also accused of kidnapping another woman Feb. 5 in the vicinity of the Price Chopper parking lot on Altamont Avenue. He is accused of displaying a knife, choking her and threatening to kill her. He also allegedly drove his vehicle at high speed directly at her. The woman avoided injury by jumping over a guard rail at the last instant.

The women, Schenectady County District Attorney Robert Carney said, willingly went with Kruppenbacher.

“But, as soon as he wanted them to do things that they weren’t comfortable with, or at all resisted him or disagreed with him, he would turn violent,” Carney said, “to the point where one was so scared that she bailed out of his car when it was moving at high speed.”

Kruppenbacher’s attorney, Terence Kindlon, has said the women were prostitutes, an assessment Carney has not disputed.

Kindlon said Friday he had yet to see the indictment and couldn’t comment.

The indictment covers alleged incidents involving five women, Carney said. Two came forward after Kruppenbacher’s arrest.

The indictment, Carney said, outlines a series of similar attacks.

“Certainly the pattern was preying on women that were less likely to tell,” Carney said, “but they did.”

Kruppenbacher was also indicted on one count of first-degree rape and predatory sexual assault, accused of raping a woman in January in a sand and gravel pit at Becker Drive off Route 7.

Kruppenbacher was arrested April 30, accused then of picking up three women in Schenectady since January, taking each to Rotterdam and refusing to let them leave his vehicle, police said.

The women were allegedly held Jan. 13, Feb. 5 and April 29. One woman said she fled by jumping out of his moving vehicle. Another said she fled when the car was stopped. In the final incident, the woman reported she was tied up and that Kruppenbacher attempted to rape her.

At a bail hearing last month, Kindlon accused the alleged victims of being prostitutes, saying later that he believes that brings with it credibility issues. He also speculated an attempted rape count might have grown out of a contract dispute.

Kindlon called the bail amount then grossly excessive. He argued that Kruppenbacher is a 62-year-old Vietnam veteran with no criminal history. He owns property in Albany and is a top-level chess player. He is not a flight risk, Kindlon said.

Kruppenbacher’s wife attended the hearing.

Kindlon also alleged that one of the women tried to steal $43 from Kruppenbacher‘s pocket.

He was ordered held then on $100,000 bail. Kruppenbacher has since posted bail and was released pending further proceedings.

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