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Police: Rape suspect met victim on popular dating website

Sean Banks of Del Mar, Calif., was arrested for allegedly raping a woman he met on a dating website.
Sean Banks of Del Mar, Calif., was arrested for allegedly raping a woman he met on a dating website.Via

Police in La Mesa, Calif., have arrested a man accused of raping a woman he met on a Christian online dating website.

Sean Banks, 37, of Del Mar, Calif., has been known to use aliases online including Rarity, Rylan, Rylan Butterwood and Rylan Harbough.

Banks is accused of raping a woman he met on the website, officials said.

The woman told police after Banks arrived at her home in La Mesa, he was sexually aggressive toward her and ultimately raped her.

"This was the first time she met him face-to-face," La Mesa PD Officer Matt Nicholass said.

He said that the woman felt comfortable with the individual coming to her house, and it was only after he was inside the home that he became forceful.

The incident occurred in November 2012. Banks was arrested by La Mesa police on Feb. 11.

Banks was booked on a number of charges including rape by force, digital penetration by force and residential burglary.

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When contacted by NBC 7 San Diego, the dating website said it has reached out to the La Mesa Police Department and is willing to assist in the investigation in any way it can.

"The safety and security of our members is of critical importance to us," said spokesperson Arielle Schechtman. "We take tremendous precautions to protect the safety and privacy of our community members."

She said the website has profile review experts who manually review all profile text and photos submitted by members.

"We have also developed several proprietary, automated tools to help identify questionable profiles and to eliminate fraudulent activity in our communities," she said.

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Now detectives are asking for the public's help. They are concerned Banks may have been using other names and may have more victims.

Banks has moved around the country, so investigators are concerned there may be victims outside of San Diego County and perhaps California.

The suspect may have been working on other websites.

Anyone with information can call La Mesa Police at 619-667-1400.