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SDGLN series on male rape: Exposing a sexual predator among us

(Editor's note: This story was updated on Sunday, June 16, with new information about Matt's test results. This article contains adult language and explicit descriptions of sexual acts that are crucial to the context of the story.)

SAN DIEGO – This is a cautionary tale about the dangers of cruising for sex via the Internet.

This is also an urgent warning that there is at least one violent sexual predator preying on gay men in San Diego.

San Diego Gay & Lesbian News has exposed a very ugly secret in our community, male rape, and has been collecting circumstantial evidence of a serious problem that has been swept under the rug because of shame, guilt and fear that overwhelms men who are victims of sexual assault. Additionally, when men do report being sexually assaulted, they often do not see their cases thoroughly investigated, much less prosecuted, because of gray areas in the law.

Since last Thursday when the first part of the series was published, featuring a first-person account of a well-known gay man in San Diego who was drugged and raped, SDGLN has heard from men locally and from across the U.S. who have experienced similar nightmares. SDGLN does not identify victims of sexual assault unless they wish to go public with their names, a policy established by most media in the U.S.

Among those who contacted SDGLN are two men from San Diego, who do not know each other and whose stories have not been yet told. In the course of interviewing both men separately, SDGLN noticed a shockingly similar modus operandi involving the man they accuse of brutally assaulting them. This is their story. It is chilling.

Connecting the dots

Both men describe their attacker in mirror images. Both men connected with their attacker via Adam4Adam, which describes itself as a “gay dating and hookup, chat, cam” website and mobile app. This is not an indictment of Adam4Adam, a Canadian company that has hundreds of thousands of subscribers from all over the world and which notes on its exemption statement that it does not fall under the jurisdiction of American law. To its credit, Adam4Adam publishes "Safety Tips" on its site.

During the course of investigating both stories, SDGLN learned that each victim recalled the A4A screen name for their attacker … and the screen name is identical in both cases. SDGLN has taken a screen capture of the A4A profile in case the account is deleted or banned; has copies of the two visual images associated with the profile, including a face shot; and since has learned additional information about the man that is quite disturbing.

Jacob says that out of an abundance of caution, he communicated via Adam4Adam for three weeks with the man before agreeing to meet him on the evening of Thursday, June 6. It would be a long, awful night in his own apartment that he would never forget, and it landed him the next day in the emergency room with injuries that doctors’ describe as consistent with sexual assault. The police were called, took a report, and told Jacob that he should have negotiated with the man to establish a “safe word.” On Wednesday, June 12, Jacob learned that his case is still being investigated. On Thursday, June 13, Jacob learned from the doctor that he has contracted chlamydia of the throat and that his vocal chords are possibly damaged as a result of the sexual violence that took place over the course of 12 hours.

Matt says he hooked up with the man on Adam4Adam on Sunday, June 9. Matt met the man late at night, thinking that he was going back to the man’s home. Instead, Matt was lured into Balboa Park, where he says he was sexually assaulted in a shack. Because Matt is in the military, he has declined to go to police for fear of getting kicked out of the service. Matt, who is 24, is now worrying about whether the man has given him any sexual diseases or HIV and is enduring the long wait for test results to come back. SDGLN had the somber duty to inform Matt about Jacob's test results for chlamydia, and Matt responded that he would return to the free clinic today for further testing and to find out whether the results of the previous testing have come in. [UPDATE: Matt told SDGLN that the first test results came in and it was confirmed that he had gonorrhea of the throat. Matt told the clinic about Jacob's diagnosis, and he was tested for chlamydia.]

How the two victims describe their attacker

Jacob says the man initially “sounded like a nice guy and wanted to play into my fantasies.”

Matt said the man was “a very nice, charming person in his introductions.”

The man these guys met was anything but nice or charming. He was a brute.

The Adam4Adam profile says that the man is 41 years old, 5-8, 155 pounds with a 30-inch waist. Jacob said he has brown eyes. Both men, interviewed separately, confirmed the accuracy of this description. The man shaves his head, has some body hair, and is white. He told one of the victims that his name was Ken, and he said he was a native of San Diego. He told the other victim to call him "Sir" and never revealed his name.

The profile that both Jacob and Matt responded to stresses that the man is a top only and HIV negative. Here is the exact wording of the that profile, and some of the words are vulgar but important for context:

“I know what works best for me and am ONLY looking for a SINGLE guy with LOW SELF ESTEEM that would be happy to being a SEXUAL OBJECT to another man, specifically me. I am demanding, quick to walk away if disappointed. Can be rough and disrespectful, but am a man of my word, and am looking for the same. Not here to chat. If you’re not up for meeting in public right now, save your message until you are, but don’t be a douche if I’m not available.

“Like fucking a guy’s throat hard and deep and using his ass like I own it.”

Both guys met this man in San Diego in the area on the south end of Balboa Park. Jacob says they connected at the Starbucks at 28th and B Street, then on the walk to his apartment that the man pulled out his penis and demanded oral sex in public. This would be the start of a 12-hour ordeal that has deeply shaken Jacob, who is already planning to move from San Diego and return to the East Coast where he grew up.

Matt, who moved to San Diego due to his military service, says he connected with the man at the City College trolley stop, thinking that he would be going back to the man’s home to have oral sex. Instead, Matt was led into an area he’s never been. “Since I am not at all familiar with any other areas than Hillcrest and Little Italy, I had no idea where I was and trusted this person to guide me,” Matt said. “We walked up a very long hill on a street and came to the park where we sat for a while talking. He was very nice. He told me he lived in the area. I was expecting to go with him. That is when the whole ordeal started.”

SDGLN will be following up this article with individual stories told by Jacob and Matt.

Further investigation

Jacob, who is 42, is Internet savvy and wisely kept the phone number used by his attacker. He has traced the phone number to a San Diego business as well as to a Linked In profile. The photo in the Linked In profile seems to be of a different man, Jacob said, which leads him to wonder if this is a case of identity theft or cell phone theft, or whether the man had shaved his head since creating his Linked In profile.

A Google search shows that the man’s previous Adam4Adam profile using the same screen name was taken down because of complaints about explicit violence stated in the profile.

Furthermore, the Google search using the identical profile name reveals an account on BarebackRT.com that contains explicit threats of non-sexual violence. A comparison of the BarebackRT and Adam4Adam accounts reveal an identical height, weight, age and sexual desires. The only difference is the BarebackRT profile indicates that the man has dark brown hair cropped short, but there was no public face shot. What visually connects the two profiles is the same identical photo of the man’s penis that is published on both sites.

The disturbing BarebackRT profile reads:

“Most people don’t know what they really want or are afraid to say out loud for fear of rejection or letting someone see inside their twisted mind. I am unencumbered by fear and am ONLY looking for a SINGLE guy with LOW SELF ESTEEM that would be happy to being a SEXUAL OBJECT to another man, specifically me. I am demanding quick to walk away if disappointed. Can be rough and disrespectful, but am a man of my word, and looking for the same. If you lie or play games, don’t be surprised if I respond physically and with (non-sexual) violence. If you’re not all the things in caps, keep walking.”

The man updates his Adam4Adam profile

Jacob noticed Thursday night that the man has changed his Adam4Adam profile, and is bothered by the new language. Here is the new text on the man's profile:

“I know what works best for me; am ONLY looking for a SINGLE guy with LOW SELF ESTEEM that would be happy to be a SEXUAL OBJECT to another man, specifically me. Occasionally, I think I want more than that, but then meet the wrong guy again and end up hating the world even more than before. Can be rough and disrespectful, but am consistent and a man of my word; I'm looking/hoping for the same. Not here to chat. If you’re not up for meeting in public right now, save your message until you are, but don’t be a douche if I’m not also available.

“Like fucking a guy’s throat hard and deep and using his ass like I own it.”

As for Jacob, he called the revised profile very chilling and ominous.

A word of caution

Jacob, Matt and SDGLN are very concerned that this man has harmed other victims and could hurt other men he meets. If at all possible, please report your case to the police. If this man has attacked you, please contact editor@sdgln.com and share your story and help bring justice down on this man.

Do not attempt to play "hero" with this man. He is dangerous and his revised profile indicates a man who is full of hate and anger. SDGLN has heard of talk in the community of trying to "trap" this man or somehow punish him. This is an unwise course of action and illegal. Please don't go down this road and become a criminal yourself.

If you are drugged or sexually assaulted, please report the incident to your local police and get yourself to the emergency room for treatment. After that, call The Center at 619-692-2077 for help where you can get immediate time with a counselor for further advice on how to deal with your situation.

Ken Williams is Editor in Chief of SDGLN. He can be reached at ken@sdgln.com, @KenSanDiego on Twitter, or by calling toll-free to 888-442-9639, ext. 713.