The Craigslist Rape Victim. More than 50 million Americans visit the website Craigslist every month looking for everything from lawn furniture to concert tickets to companionship.
But not all of the connections have a happy ending. Sarah says she had never been on Craigslist until last December, when she saw pictures of herself featured in a classified ad.
If interested, contact Sarah,'" she says. Instead, they suggested she call Craigslist directly and ask them to take the ad down.
Craigslist removed the ad immediately, but it was too late. In DecemberSarah was attacked at her Wyoming home.
His words to me were: 'You wanted an aggressive man, bitch. Here I am,'" Sarah says.
For 30 minutes, Sarah was viciously raped. Her attacker told her that if she didn't stop trying to get away, he would kill her.
At one point, he even held a knife to her throat. The man who raped Sarah was year-old Ty McDowell, a married father of two who worked as a radiology technician at the local hospital. McDowell told detectives he thought he was fulfilling Sarah's rape fantasy.
After her attack, Sarah immediately called the police. A local sergeant said her call was one of the worst he'd ever heard.
One of the nurses who cared for Sarah said her injuries were some of the most severe she'd ever seen on a sexual assault victim. Sarah's ex-boyfriend, Jebediah Stipe, admitted to posting the ad using her identity and was also sentenced to at least 60 years in prison.
According to police, people responded to the fraudulent Craigslist ad. Sarah has not seen her attacker or her ex-boyfriend since her attack.
I don't want to see either of their faces," she says. Though Sarah says she felt empowered after standing up in court, she's still trying to wrap her mind around why people would commit such violent acts.
She says she is also dealing with members of her community who have sided with her attacker. Sarah says they believe that since McDowell thought he was talking to Sarah, he believed he was doing what she wanted. Nine months later, Sarah says she has good days and bad days.
I can become a better person because of what has happened, and it does not define the person that I am. But authorities say crimes like this one can happen on any social network. The FBI recommends that people don't post photos or any personal information online.
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