One of the things that craigslist has more than killers is rapists. I remember that some time ago I was asked to do a guest post for the Investigation Discovery website and they had asked me do to a post on the craigslist rapist. My reply was “Which one?” Yet people are still putting themselves out there as victims on the Sears catalog of sexual predators.
44-year-old Charles Oliver of Woodstock, Illinois has been charged with allegedly sexually assaulting several women that he met through craigslist’s personal ads and ads for escorts. Wait, weren’t they supposed to be removed from craigslist? Huh. Anyway, police know of 5 victims but say there may be as many as 20.
In once case Oliver locked the woman in his basement, another has said that Oliver flat-out raped her. The attacks were said to have taken place from November of 2011 to early this year. Police identified three other victims in their investigation.
When police investigated Oliver’s home they said they not only found videos of Oliver having sex, some consensual some supposedly not, along with the identification and personal belongings of women that did not belong to the women that have already been identified as victims. They say there may be as many as 20 victims.
Oliver was arrested in January and released on bond which of course did not deter him at all. Oliver was re-arrested in February for allegedly trying to intimidate one of the victims by confronting the woman’s husband.
Oliver is being held on $3M bond.
Ladies, if you’re in the dating scene I implore you not to use craigslist as way to meet guys. There’s way too much of a risk that you’ll meet someone like Oliver. You may think that you can spot one of these predators from miles away but I would imagine some of his victims felt the same way. As far as the professional ladies go I urge you to get out of the life. Is the money really worth being possibly locked in someone’s basement and have God only knows what done to you. Please check in your local community to see if there are resources that will help you escape the life.
As far as craigslist itself goes this just goes to show one more time that they have no interest in monitoring their own site regardless of how many people are being made victims of horrible crimes. Only when enough people stop using craigslist will they eventually take notice. There more concerned with the green ink of their money than the red blood of their victims.
UPDATE 4/1/2013: More victims have either been discovered through investigation or have come forward.
UPDATE 2/10/2014: More victims have come forward bringing the total number of known victims to eight.
UPDATE 3/4/2014: Oliver was found guilty in his first trial. He’s looking at 9 to 33 but won’t be sentenced until all of his other trials are over and prosecutors are seeking to have him serve each sentence consecutively. His next trial starts at the end of this month.
UPDATE 3/26/2014: Oliver pleaded guilty before his second trial began. According to the terms of that plea deal he could be sentenced anywhere from 20 to 93 years.
UPDATE 5/8/2014: Oliver was sentenced by a McHenry County Judge to 36 years behind bars set to be served consecutively with any additional sentencing.