A Florida woman has been arrested and charged with crimes associated with stalking, and the reason why is unsettling to say the least. The Daily Mail reports that 39-year-old Frances Lee Tapscott is accused of posting an ad on the popular dating site Plenty of Fish in an attempt at having a woman sexually assaulted.
The arrest was made on Saturday, after authorities were called by the victim of the attempted crime. Frances Lee Tapscott is accused of making a fake profile under the name of the victim on the Plenty of Fish website. She used photos of the woman, that had been taken from other sources, and posed as the alleged victim, while requesting something that she painted as an extreme fetish.
Breitbart News reports that the Florida woman wrote in the fake dating ad that she wanted strange men to go to her residence and act out a so-called “rape fantasy” that she had. This created a catastrophe for the alleged victim, because Tapscott’s alleged behavior didn’t end at simply posting the ad. When men began responding to the post she made, she allegedly shared the woman’s details with them — her address and phone number — so they could contact her directly.
The victim of the alleged series of events became fearful for her life when men started showing up at her home and calling her on the phone asking to help her act out the rape fantasy they had been sent to fulfill. This horrifying experience not only drove the woman to call authorities and report the incident, but she also fled her home that night, fearing for her safety.
The Florida woman accused of putting these events in motion was arrested and charged with aggravated stalking. Meanwhile, very little information has been released surrounding the case — including the name of the alleged victim. Furthermore, Tapscott’s motive also hasn’t been revealed in media reports. At this time it’s not known if Tapscott knew the victim personally.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time someone has been accused of using online dating sites to harass or even bring harm to another person. In fact, a Wyoming man got into trouble in 2010 for doing just what the Florida woman is accused of doing. The man allegedly used Craigslist to arrange the rape of his former girlfriend, and unlike the woman in the most recent Florida story, the alleged victim wasn’t very lucky. A man used the details taken from the Craigslist post and forced his way into the woman’s home. That is where he tied her up and raped her at knife-point.
In 2012 a man was arrested after allegedly using Craigslist to arrange the rape of his own wife. He allegedly posted the advertisement as the unsuspecting woman, which caused multiple men to attempt to break into their home to rape her. She was fortunate in the end, and very shocked to learn that her own husband had been behind the bizarre and frightening incident.
This also isn’t the first time Plenty of Fish has been at the center of scandal. Last year a man reportedly admitted to police that he had raped several women using dating sites like PoF. Vice also reported last year that Plenty of Fish has been at the center of human trafficking issues.
All of these similar cases don’t necessarily mean that these dating sites, or the internet in general, is unsafe. Nonetheless, these are illustrative of the fact that some people can use benign ways of communicating in order to commit dastardly acts against others. Hopefully, getting into some trouble will prevent the Florida woman in the latest story from behaving like this again in the future.
[Photo: Pinellas County Police mugshot]