Craigslist Sexual Assault
January 11, 2010 3:05 PM Subscribe
James Stipe, a Marine, allegedly posed as his ex-girlfriend to post an ad on Craigslist seeking an “aggressive man with no concern for women.” The woman was later raped in her home.
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When the woman saw the ad (two days after it was posted), she contacted the police and Craigslist and the ad was taken down. However, Ty Oliver McDowell had already seen the ad and exchanged instant messages with a person he believed to be the poster of the ad, in which she described what she wanted (“humiliation, physical abuse, sexual abuse”) and provided her home address. A week after the ad was posted, McDowell allegedly forced his way into the woman’s house and raped her at knifepoint.
Stipe has been charged
with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault and separated from the Corps. McDowell is charged
with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated burglary. His attorney says McDowell believed he was acting out the victim’s fantasy.
The adult services section, where these ads were posted, has come under fire lately as a result of its ties to a number of sexual assaults and the murder of a Boston woman
. This is not even
the first time that Craigslist has been used to arrange the sexual assault of others. This incident raises further debate about this section, as well as debate surrounding internet censorship generally.
Commenters on these articles
have also noted the importance of avoiding demonizing kinks as a result of stories like these, as well as the importance of negotiating consent in person in BDSM-oriented sexual fantasies. Dan Savage has tips