Crime & Courts

2 accused of attempted rape on Lake Norman sailboat

John Richard Drigalla
John Richard Drigalla Iredell County Sheriff’s Office

Update: On March 17, 2017, Iredell County prosecutors dropped charges against Robert Michael Weidinger and John Richard Drigalla. In dismissing the charges, the Iredell County District Attorney’s Office said it had insufficient evidence to try the case. The original story follows.


Two men are accused of attempting to rape a 22-year-old woman on a Lake Norman sailboat last week.

Iredell County sheriff’s deputies responded about 5:30 a.m. Friday to a report of a woman screaming on the lake near Yacht Cove Lane in Mooresville, Sheriff Darren Campbell said.

The deputies saw a sailboat just offshore near Cocktail Cove and signaled the boat to come to shore, the sheriff said.

The two men aboard the boat said they’d met the woman at a local bar and that she’d accompanied them onto the lake, Campbell said.

The men told deputies they let the woman off the boat at a dock at Trump National Golf Club Charlotte, which is on Brawley School Road.

Officers eventually found the woman at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, where she was treated for injuries she later told officers she’d suffered on the boat.

The woman told investigators she agreed to go out on the lake with the men but that once she was on the boat, the men tried to sexually assault her and refused to take her to shore, the sheriff said. One of the men took the woman’s phone from her so she couldn’t call for help, the sheriff said.

Robert Michael Weidinger of Mooresville and John Richard Drigalla of Blue Bell, Pa., were each arrested and charged with first-degree kidnapping, attempted first-degree rape, assault on a female and interfering with emergency communications.

Drigalla was jailed on $200,000 bail and Weidinger on $150,000 bail.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak