Massachusetts man Thomas Sheehan was arrested for posing as women online and asking random men to come kidnap and rape them. Sheehan, a 45-year-old married man, was arrested on soliciting assault and battery, soliciting rape, soliciting kidnapping, and weapons charges.
Thomas Sheehan worked as a limo driver and at Logan Airport in the Boston suburb of Quincy. Police were tipped off about the dangerous online ruse after a woman discovered a fake online social media profile sharing her photos, Massachusetts Live reports. As law enforcement officers began to investigate the incident, they uncovered that the Massachusetts man was chatting online with other men while posing as a woman with violent kidnapping and rape fantasies.
Sheehan impersonated various woman on the Collarspace.com website after copying their photos from Facebook, according to a Daily Mail report. In all, the Massachusetts man created about one dozen fake online profiles using pictures of women he downloaded from Facebook.
At least once, Thomas used the screen name “Cutegirl42543” and shared photos of one victim’s two young daughters who also lived inside the home. He also posted the home addresses of some of the women he was impersonating. The men Sheehan was reportedly chatting with online had expressed a desire to fulfill the rape and kidnapping fantasies posed.
Police investigators believe that the accused had connected with men who willingly agreed to not only stalk, rape, and kidnap one of the women, but to torture her and her children, per the online request, as well. Massachusetts State Police issued the search warrant for the man’s home, and detectives were reportedly able to trace the online account back to Sheehan and his electronic devices.
In one online post, Sheehan reportedly asked a man he was chatting with, “So would u at some point come here stalk me and kidnap me?”
Prosecutor Tom Ralph said that Thomas Sheehan was soliciting men to use “dangerous weapons” during the “violent” rape fantasy and kidnapping scenario he was promoting online. None of the women consented, or were even aware of, the potentially deadly situation which was unfolding, according to Ralph.
After pleading not guilty in court on the charges levied against him on Tuesday, Sheehan’s attorney claimed that because none of the women his client was impersonating were actually harmed, the entire incident was nothing more than “fantasy role play.”
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey had this to say about the rape fantasy case:
“We allege that this defendant put this woman and her family in grave danger by impersonating her online, posting photos of her and her children, and communicating with strangers who sought to do personal harm. Our office is taking a serious look at whether the current laws appropriately address the severity of these alleged crimes.”
Six of the women who were allegedly victimized by the actions of the Massachusetts man were present in the courtroom during the initial hearing in the case. None of the victims have been identified publicly. One of the women told local reporters that she and her peers in the impersonation case want to “stand up and smile” at Sheehan to let him known that they have banded together to see justice done. One of the women revealed that she and the accused had once worked together at the airport but added that she had not been in contact with him since the late 1980s.
If Thomas Sheehan can post the $50,000 bail set in the case, he will be free until his February 17 hearing. Should he be let out of jail, he will be subjected to house arrest, be barred from getting on the internet, and from seeing his minor children.
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