California man sought in Pennsylvania ‘So I raped you’ case from 201306/30/2021
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Authorities in California said Tuesday they had obtained an arrest warrant for a San Jose-area man in connection with a former Pennsylvania college student’s rape allegation from 2013.
The recent action against suspect Ian Cleary, 28, of Saratoga, California, was triggered by a message from his Facebook account last year that said, “So I raped you,” The Associated Press reported.
The suspect and the woman making the allegation, Shannon Keeler, were classmates at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania at the time the alleged rape occurred, the AP reported.
Keeler had been urging prosecutors for years to pursue the matter – supplying bits of evidence and names of potential witnesses along the way — but little investigative action was taken on her behalf until after she took her story to The Associated Press last year after receiving the “So I raped you” message, according to the news service.
Authorities obtained the arrest warrant after verifying the message was from Cleary’s account, the report said.
Police said they have not yet located Cleary and are not sure where he is, the AP added.
In a statement Tuesday, Keeler, now 26, said she was pleased to learn the arrest warrant had been obtained, but she lashed out at Pennsylvania authorities whom she claimed initially brushed her case aside.
“I am mindful that this moment came because I went public with my story, which no survivor should have to do in order to obtain justice,” Keeler’s statement said.
“I am mindful that this moment came because I went public with my story, which no survivor should have to do in order to obtain justice.”
Shannon Keeler is seen April 7, 2021. (Associated Press)
The Gettysburg Police Department reopened the case after Keeler showed them numerous Facebook messages from Cleary’s account, the AP reported. After authorities verified the account, the office of Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett supported the charges, according to the AP.
An affidavit filed with the warrant claims Cleary sexually assaulted Keeler after following her home from a party and sneaking into her room, the AP reported.
Keeler said she did not know Cleary’s name. After the alleged crime, he apologized and fled, she told investigators.
After he was gone, she said she sent a message to friends: “OMG please Help me.”
Only about 20% of college sexual assault victims ever report to police, and prosecutors often decline to take cases where victims had been drinking or knew the accused, according to the AP.
Cleary has spent time in Europe, so authorities weren’t certain that he was in the U.S., the news service reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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