Skidmore manhunt target admits to kidnapping charges

Shane Harding, the convicted rapist who hid out in the woods by Skidmore College and forced the camp
Shane Harding
Shane Harding

Shane Harding, the convicted rapist who hid out in the woods by Skidmore College and forced the campus into a lockdown last fall, has admitted to kidnapping charges that could keep him behind bars for 25 years.

The 25-year-old Level 3 sex offender from Schodack admitted to a pair of second-degree kidnapping charges in Rensselaer County Court this morning. The violent felony charge carries a penalty of eight to 25 years in state prison.

Harding, who was convicted of rape in 2008, had been out of jail for less than nine months when he hopped in a car with a woman he knew and used what was later determined to be a BB gun to force her to a location in Massachusetts where he raped her on Sept. 30. Prior to the attack, Harding removed an ankle bracelet state police were using to monitor his movements.

Later in the day, Harding used the same weapon to force an acquaintance to drive him to several locations in Saratoga, Washington and Warren counties. He eventually fled into the woods by Skidmore, triggering an intense manhunt that forced the campus into lockdown and prompted the college to cancel morning classes on Oct. 1.

Several students spotted a man fitting Harding’s description and called campus safety. Police apprehend him later in the morning and he’s been held without bail ever since.

Harding is scheduled to be sentenced on April 2.

Categories: News, Schenectady County

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