Police say an alleged rapist may be using ChristianMingle, an online dating site, to find his victims.
Sean Patrick Banks, a 37-year-old former Navy sailor, is accused of sexually assaulting a woman he met through the ChristianMingle website. Authorities believe the man may have been using the service as a way to target and contact potential victims.
According to ABC News, Banks used a false name to contact a California woman through the dating site before being charged with raping the victim in November. The investigation led police to believe that Banks may have employed different aliases to contact other ChristianMingle users with the same intent.
Banks is a resident of Del Mar but has traveled extensively throughout the United States for work related reasons. Police have taken this into consideration, expanding their search for rape victims beyond California.
While Banks may have used a different name depending on the area he was visiting, police hope that anyone he may have contacted through ChristianMingle will recognize his picture and come forward.
According to Fox News, the dating website is cooperating with authorities to further the investigation. Arielle Schechtman, a spokesperson for ChristianMingle, told the news organization steps are being taken to protect users:
“In addition to having profile experts manually review all profile text and photos submitted by members, we have also developed several proprietary, automated tools to help identify questionable profiles and eliminate fraudulent activity in our communities.”
Banks was released on bail after entering a not guilty plea on the California rape charge. Police continue to investigate the possibility that the alleged rapist used the ChristianMingle website to find victims.