Facebook message leads to warrant in years-old rape claim


PHILADELPHIA — Authorities in Pennsylvania on Tuesday filed an arrest warrant in a 2013 campus attack at Gettysburg College, nearly eight years after the woman went to police and a year after she received an online message that said, “So I raped you.”

Police say they are looking for 28-year-old Ian Cleary of Saratoga, California, but had not yet located him. The affidavit filed with the warrant accuses Cleary of stalking 18-year-old Shannon Keeler at a party in December 2013, following her home to her dorm and then sexually assaulting her.

As he apologized and fled, Keeler texted friends on campus “OMG please Help me,” according to the warrant.

Keeler had discussed the experience — and her long push for charges — in a recent story by The Associated Press that detailed the frequent reluctance among prosecutors to file charges in campus rape cases. Keeler went to police hours after the encounter and had a rape kit done at a local hospital, only to graduate three years later without an arrest. Authorities at the time told her it was hard to prosecute cases when the victim had been drinking, she said. The rape kit was later lost. The warrant filed Tuesday was signed by a new county prosecutor, Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett. Police reopened the case last year after Keeler came forward with a series of online messages that appeared to come from Cleary’s Facebook account. Police then linked the account to Cleary through a matching cell phone number, according to the affidavit.

The AP previously did not name Cleary because police had not confirmed they were investigating him, and was unable to reach him. Now that the arrest warrant has been issued, The AP is using his name.

A cell phone linked to Cleary rang unanswered Tuesday and did not have voice mail. A message left at a number associated with his father was not immediately returned.

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