There are quite a few threads in this one. According to police, 28-year-old Jason Taylor posed as a rideshare driver to assault a woman he met on Tinder. Police say that Jason Taylor used a false identity on the app and appeared to be stalking college students.
Police also say that Taylor began chatting with two Northwestern students who later refused to meet with him. He then began harassing them online.
In the case of the woman whom he did allegedly assault, it is unclear what their interaction was prior to the event. Taylor is being questioned in connection with a number of other sexual assaults that occurred around the Evanston area and beyond. Northwestern police are asking that anyone with information come forward at this time.
Defending Those Accused of Sexual Assault
They say that sexual assault and other related crimes are among the hardest for which to get a conviction. Only a fraction of women come forward and prosecutors offer plea deals to avoid complex trials. Defense attorneys often have the option of arguing that the assault was consensual or that the defendant had reason to believe it was. Alternatively, defense attorneys can argue mistaken identity saying that the victim falsely identified their client as the perpetrator.
Victims almost never want to take the stand or be questioned by an attorney who is representing the individual responsible for their trauma. It is a complicated situation in which the criminal justice system does not manage to fully meet the needs of victims.
One lone exception to that rule is when the individual responsible for the assault is a serial rapist. These individuals almost always leave enough victims behind to build a solid case against them. In this case, prosecutors can mine Taylor’s social media interactions to establish a precedent of stalking and harassing women. His defense attorney will then need to at least shed some doubt on whether or not that interpretation of Taylor’s dating-app interactions is valid or justifiable.
Police are currently investigating whether or not Taylor targeted other college communities, including those in nearby states. The investigation could unravel years of sexual assaults against multiple victims. Even still, some of those victims may not be willing to come forward. To do so often means reliving the trauma.
Much of the problem with dating apps, is that stalkers can use data found on the site to track down easy victims. Even if they do not use their own names, Google’s reverse image lookup tool can link back to Facebook and other social media sites.
Women who use these apps can take several measures that make it more difficult for them to be stalked. This includes setting all their social media accounts to private so that they will not be indexed on search engines.
For more information on Tinder-related crimes, check out this article.
Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago
If you have been accused of a crime in the Chicago area, David Freidberg, Attorney at Law can ensure the prosecution does its job and proves their case leaving no reasonable doubt. Call us today at (312) 560-7100 to set up an appointment.
(image courtesy of Tim Gouw)