‘Rapist’ uses Facebook as trap

2017-08-22 06:00

Police have asked victims of an alleged serial rapist who lured his victims through social media to come forward.

A 49-year-old man recently appeared in court on two charges of murder, four charges of rape, a charge of intimidation and a charge of extortion.

“The suspect has in the past touted himself as a reverend. The accused – believed to be a serial rapist – is thought to have been active in the period 2013 to 2016,” says Captain Ian Williams, Mitchell’s Plain police spokesperson.

He is believed to have committed crimes in a large area, from Wolfgat Nature Reserve to Mnandi beach, where the rapes were ­committed.

“The accused would allegedly set up a Facebook profile as a female. He would then befriend his victims and win their trust. The accused would target women from poor economic areas who would be seeking employment and would offer [them] employment for modelling jobs,” says Williams.

“He would then get the victim to come to him to take photos at a place arranged close to his house. When the victims arrived at the meeting place, the accused would offer some excuse as to why the female of the Facebook profile wasn’t there. He would then threaten the victim and rape her,” he says.

“We are unable to divulge further information regarding the Facebook profile at this stage as it forms part of the investigation,” says Williams.

The victims are believed to be women in their twenties. The alleged rapist is a well-spoken and groomed professional. He is neatly shaven and dressed well.

The man who was arrested remains in custody as his case has been postponed to Wednesday 30 August for his bail application. There are five victims who have already come forward and he is suspected of killing two people, says Williams, making it a total of seven alleged victims so far.

In light of this case, police have issued the following warning:

. Do not to accept strangers on social media as these platforms can be used to trick you into trusting, and even confiding in, someone whom you perhaps haven’t even met.

. Be careful of a person who wants to know about your economic status or circumstances as this information can be used to lure the unsuspecting victim.

. Tell someone if you are going to meet someone for the first time. You can also ask someone to chaperone or monitor your meeting with the person.

. Use a public place which you are familiar with and can allow for you to get help if something goes wrong.

. Don’t just believe any proposal of a job offer. Try to verify the information, for instance by calling the business beforehand and making an official appointment with the place of business and getting the contact details of the person you are going to see.

. Trust your gut. If you feel unsafe or unsure then rather leave.

V Anyone with information on these cases, or women who may have been a victim of the serial rapist, is urged to call Mitchell’s Plain cluster detective Warrant Officer Carlo Antha on 074 072 1870.

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