Online dating can be a dangerous way to meet the man or woman of your dreams. Sean Patrick Banks, 38, is on trial in El Cajon, California for allegedly raping two women in San Diego county. He met the women through online dating websites which are being used increasingly more in the US. A woman testified on Monday against Banks, stating she met him online at Christianmingle.com.
The witness, only identified to the court as L.J., testified that she met Banks online in 2009. After some playful online flirting and getting to know one another, the two met face-to-face in New York for a pleasant dinner. Six months later, the woman was invited to join Banks in London. He offered to pay half of her airfare and to pay for her hotel room.
She testified that things started to get strange when they went dancing at a local club. It was at the club where Banks began to dance in a way that made the woman feel “uncomfortable”.
“It was more than I wanted.”
When she rejected his advances, and apparently violating dance moves, Banks left her at the club and went back to his hotel room. The woman later felt bad about rejecting Banks and took a sandwich to his room. He invited her in where the two talked for a while on his bed. He began to touch her buttocks in a way that made her feel very uncomfortable with the exchange. She left immediately, but not before Banks told her he wouldn’t pay for her room.
The witness is not one of the women accusing Banks of rape. Banks is being accused by two different women for raping them. One occurrence was in 2012 and the other was in 2009. The official charges include forcible rape, rape of an unconscious person, sex with a foreign object, and burglary. Banks’ will begin to be tried in June.
One of the women accusing Banks of rape also met him through the online dating site Christian Mingle. The online dating site claims to help Christians find the man or woman God has designed for them. As online dating use continues to rise in the United States, it stands to reason that there may be more cases like this one. Users of online dating sites should use a great deal of caution and wisdom when deciding who to meet.
Banks’ defense attorney, Brian White, feels the testimony offered by the woman does not rise to the level of being considered “rape” or anything in that ballpark. He is asking for her testimony to be removed.
Do you think online dating websites are a safe way to meet people?