Horrific date turns into rape terror in Stafford, NJ
New warnings about meeting someone in-person after interacting with them on a dating app.
It comes after a Camden County man was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a woman he met on-line.
The Camden County Prosecutor Grace MacAulay says Joshua Clark, 40, met a woman on a dating app in July. He is alleged to have brought her back to his home in Stratford Township for a date.
According to the victim, she passed out while in Clark's home, and when she woke up he was sexually assaulting her. She believes her date spiked her drink.
During the investigation, detectives searched the residence, and claim to have found "one-half ounce of methamphetamine, one Anesket (Ketamine) bottle containing a clear liquid, and assorted drug paraphernalia."
Clark has been charged with 1st degree Aggravated Sexual Assault and multiple drugs and narcotics charges. He remains in the Camden County jail pending a detention hearing.
Investigators did not reveal what dating app was used by the couple.
How to stay safe
Sexual abuse survivor groups are urging women and men who use dating apps to take greater caution when agreeing to meet in-person.
The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN), the nation's largest anti-sexual violence organization, has noted an increase in the number of women coming forward to report abuse connected to on-line dating.
When creating an on-line profile and using a dating app, RAIIN recommends the following:
- Use different photos for your dating profile. Its easy to do a reverse image search with Google. If your dating profile has a photo that also shows up on your Instagram or Facebook account, it will be easier for someone to find you on social media.
- Avoid connecting with suspicious profiles. If the person you matched with has no bio, linked social media accounts, and has only posted one picture, it may be a fake account. Its important to use caution if you choose to connect with someone you have so little information about.
- Check out your potential date on social media. If you know your match’s name or handles on social media—or better yet if you have mutual friends online—look them up and make sure they aren’t “catfishing” you by using a fake social media account to create their dating profile.
- Block and report suspicious users. You can block and report another user if you feel their profile is suspicious or if they have acted inappropriately toward you. This can often be done anonymously before or after you’ve matched. As with any personal interaction, it is always possible for people to misrepresent themselves. Trust your instincts about whether you feel someone is representing themselves truthfully or not.
If you believe you have been the victim of sexual abuse, call 9-1-1 or your local police department. Help is also available through the National Sexual Assault Hotline at: 800-656-HOPE.
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