While Shannon Keeler begged prosecutors to accept her rape lawsuit in college, she studied in Spain, won a national lacrosse championship, got a bachelor’s degree, and fell in love.
Meanwhile, he gathered evidence from the attack in the first year and passed it on to investigators. Here are the names of the people who saw the senior chase me at the frat party in 2013. Here is the phone number of the friend who saw him follow me home. Here is the name of the hospital my trainer took me to for a rape kit.
And then last year: Here is a recent message from her Facebook account that says, “So I raped you.”
After checking the account and after Keeler told his story to The Associated Press, a new team of police officers and prosecutors received an arrest warrant Tuesday accusing Ian Cleary, 28, of Saratoga, Calif., Of assaulting students at Gettysburg College in 2013. Police say they haven’t found him yet and aren’t sure where he is. So it’s still unclear whether Keeler will take the case to court.
“Although I am moved to tears by this result that I have waited (for) more than seven years, I am aware that this moment came because I made my story public, which no survivor should do to To get righteousness. Keeler, now 26, said in a statement issued by his attorney.
Keeler had shared his experience with prosecutors’ frequent reluctance to prosecute rape cases on campus. Authorities told Keeler that it was difficult to follow up cases where the victim was drinking, he said. Subsequently, the rape equipment was lost or destroyed.
The affidavit, filed with the warrant, accuses Cleary, then a youth and goalkeeper on the ice hockey team, of following Keeler home from the party, sneaking into her room and sexually abusing her. Keeler didn’t even know his name. When he apologized and fled, Keeler texted his friends on campus: “My God, please help me,” said the documents.
Gettysburg police reopened the case last year after Keeler showed them a series of messages that appeared to have come from Cleary’s Facebook account. Police obtained a warrant to search the account and, according to an affidavit, linked her to Cleary via a cell phone number. Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett, whose office had filed few cases of rape among adult victims since 2013, supported the indictment.
Only one in five college sexual assault victims report to the police. And when this is the case, experts say, prosecutors are often reluctant to include cases where victims have been drinking or knew the accused.