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Entries in Date Rape (3)

Monday
Feb182013

Christian Mingle Date Rape Victims Sought by California Cops

Obtained by ABC News(LA MESA, Calif.) -- A suspected rapist accused of sexually assaulting a woman he met on ChristianMingle.com may have used the dating site to prey on women while he traveled across the country, California police said on Monday.

Sean Patrick Banks, 37, a former Navy sailor, used a fake name to contact a woman whom he allegedly raped in November, cops in La Mesa, Calif., said. Investigators believe that he used additional aliases to contact other women on the popular website, and police hope that if there are additional victims they will recognize Banks.

Banks lives in Del Mar, Calif., and is currently unemployed but previously "travelled frequently around various spots in the U.S." for work, widening the search for potential victims from Southern California to across the country, said La Mesa Police spokesman Lt. Matt Nicholass.

"We're looking to see if there are any other victims," Nicholass told ABC News. "We're trying to locate other victims who recognize him by his face, because they may not know his real name is Sean."

Cops accuse Banks of posing on the site as "Rylan Butterwood" and "Rylan Harbough."

His alleged use of fake names complicated police efforts to track him down after a La Mesa woman accused him of rape at her home in November on their first face-to-face date.

"La Mesa police tried to identify him for a couple of months," Nicholass said, adding that a break in the case came after ChristianMingle.com turned over computer records that helped cops identify Banks.

Banks was charged with two counts of rape and pleaded not guilty. He posted bond of $500,000 and was released. Calls to several numbers associated with Banks were not returned. Authorities did not know if he had obtained an attorney.

"We continue to assist the La Mesa police department with its investigation in every way possible. The safety and security of our members is extremely important to us," ChristianMingle.com said in a statement through spokeswoman Arielle Schechtman. "In addition to having experts manually review all profile content and photos, we have developed several proprietary, automated tools to ensure the highest possible level of safety and privacy for our communities."

 

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Oct112012

Colorado Woman Shot After Wandering into Home Pleads Guilty

Hemera/Thinkstock(BOULDER, Colo.) -- A woman suspected of being drunk when she wandered into a Boulder, Colo., home in the middle of the night and was shot by the homeowner has pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal trespassing.

Zoey Ripple's attorney told the judge Wednesday that her client might have been under the influence of a date-rape drug when she entered the multimillion-dollar home of Doreen Orion and Timothy Justice through an unlocked screen door in May.

Her lawyer, Colette Cribari, says Ripple still has no idea how she arrived at the home and believes someone took her there.

"Really scary things can happen and it's important to keep your bearings about you," Ripple said Wednesday.

Ripple, 21, was unarmed and allegedly intoxicated when she entered the home around 3:30 a.m.  After repeatedly yelling at Ripple to leave, Justice took aim and shot her in the hip.

Authorities never tested Ripple for drugs that night, but her blood alcohol level was three times the legal level, according to police.

"Her statements to the police officer were pretty clear and yet she has no recollection of it at all and that kind of fits in with a date rape drug," said Cribari.

The judge deferred her sentence, meaning the charge could be wiped away from her record if she stays out of trouble and away from alcohol for 18 months.

"This has been an enormously traumatic incident and I'm deeply sorry that it has been for the justices as well," Ripple said.

The homeowners were not charged in the shooting and the University of Colorado graduate is looking to move on with her life and put the incident behind her.

Ripple says she has not had a drop of alcohol since that night and plans to move to Peru after her probation ends early next year.  She wants to help start a woman's professional development and leadership program.  But the bullet still lodged in her back serves as a constant reminder of that night.

"I need to continue to remind myself that this doesn't define me.  I know who I am," Ripple said.

 Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Oct112010

Expulsion Possible for Students at Overdose Party

Image Courtesy - Getty Images(ELLENSBURG, Wash.) -- The students involved in an off-campus party in Washington state that resulted in 12 young people suffering possible overdoses of a date-rape drug may face expulsion for violating the university's code of conduct.

Authorities on Monday were trying to determine who organized the party that may have been part of a larger date-rape scheme. As many as 50 students attended the Roslyn, Washington party that occurred 30 miles from Central Washington University, where many of the partygoers are students, according to Rosyln-Cle Elum police.

But what began as a typical college party soon spiraled out of control when 12 students -- most of whom are believed to be female -- were rushed to the hospital after suffering apparent overdoses.

Authorities have said they believe some sort of drug was surreptitiously slipped into the victims' drinks, although they didn't found evidence of drugs during a search of the home.

Students' punishments could range from mandatory alcohol education class to suspension or expulsion, according to a school official.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio







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