Online site cited in series of cases

Last updated: December 17. 2013 8:50AM - 25327 Views
By - swillets@civitasmedia.com

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PARKTON — Sheriff’s investigators say that four women who claim that were raped in Parkton might have been targeted through a classified website’s “adult” section.

Between Nov. 28 and Wednesday, six women between the ages of 17 and 37 reported they were assaulted, including four who said they were raped, after posting ads on backpage.com, according to a statement from Robeson County Sheriff Kenneth Sealey.

Alfonso Chacon, 31, of Lariat Court, is charged with first-degree rape, first-degree kidnapping, second-degree sexual offenses, assault on a female, felony conspiracy and robbery with a deadly weapon in connection with the assault of the 17-year-old girl that allegedly occurred on Wednesday. He was arrested Thursday and is being held at the Robeson County Detention Center on $500,000 bond, according to a Sealey.

It is unclear what information the alleged victims posted on the site, which has come under fire previously for enabling sex trafficking through its “adult” section. Attorneys for the site have often argued it combats trafficking by monitoring its ads.

Sealey said the women received responses to their posts telling them to go to Lariat Court. After arriving, they were forced at gunpoint to drive to woods off Blue Road. That is where the attacks occurred, Sealey said.

Two of the women, ages 19 and 28, as well as a 32-year-old male reported they had been kidnapped on Dec. 5, according to the statement. The women said they had also been robbed. Another 55-year-old male reported being severely beaten on Dec. 7.

Television station WRAL is reporting that all of the alleged victims were from Cumberland County.

Chacon has only been charged with rape in a single case. Sealey said up to three more people may have been involved and he expects more arrests.

“We increased our patrol at the time of the initial call and are continuing to patrol the area,” Sealey said in the statement.

Anyone with information should call sheriff’s Maj. Anthony Thompson at 910-671-3189.

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