Current Page: U.S. | Monday, February 18, 2013
Calif. Man Used Christian Dating Site to Rape Woman, Police Say

Calif. Man Used Christian Dating Site to Rape Woman, Police Say

An unemployed man from California used the Christian dating website to meet a woman and later raped her while visiting her home, police said, adding he may have raped other women.

Sean Patrick Banks, 37, from Del Mar, was arrested last week and charged with two counts of sexual assault and one count of burglary for allegedly raping the woman at her home in La Mesa in November, according to KGTV-TV.

Banks, who now faces 36 years to life in prison if convicted, was arrested on Monday, and pleaded not guilty two days later. He posted $500,000 bail and was released from custody on his own recognizance.

The suspect used false names – Rylan Butterwood and Rylan Harbough – on the dating website, and the woman, in her 20s, wasn't aware of it. Detectives identified the man after months of investigation.

"After further follow-up in the investigation, the La Mesa Police Department is concerned there may have been more cases (involving) other women," Lt. Matt Nicholass was quoted as saying. "This individual traveled around a lot. And we are concerned that there are people obviously outside of La Mesa or potentially outside of San Diego County that could be a victim."

The next hearing in the case is scheduled for March 1.

A representative of said the website will fully cooperate in the further investigation. "We are in communication with the La Mesa police department and willing to assist them in any way we can with the investigation," the representative was quoted as saying.

The website says, "Christian Mingle is the online community created specifically for Christian singles looking to find friends, romance or marriage," adding, "The basis for our faith is Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Lord and Savior of the world and God's written Word, the Bible. We believe that embracing what God said allows us to live in freedom, joy, and purpose."

It also advises users to "pick a public place and provide your own transportation to and fro" when one decides to meet face to face. "Tell a friend where you're going and check in when you return home."