|Jebidiah James Stipe||Ty Oliver McDowell|
CASPER — A man accused of violently raping a woman inside her Casper home about two weeks ago believed he was acting out a sexual fantasy the woman requested on an Internet site, according to his attorney.
Ty Oliver McDowell, 26, has been charged with three counts of first-degree sexual assault, one count of aggravated assault and one count of aggravated burglary.
During a preliminary hearing in Natrona County Circuit Court on Tuesday, public defender Timothy Charles Cotton suggested that his client is accused of raping a woman he thought wanted to play out a lurid sexual fantasy.
Police, though, say the woman didn’t post the Craigslist ad that spurred McDowell’s alleged actions. Instead, authorities determined that Jebidiah James Stipe — with whom the alleged victim had a brief romantic relationship — posted the ad on Dec. 5. He pretended to be the woman named in the advertisement, investigators say.
Stipe, a Carbon County native, has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault. The 27-year-old Marine currently based in Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, California, remains in the West Valley Detention Center in San Bernardino County, California
[ Booking # 0912090115 - 05/14/1982 - 170 / 5'6" - Brown / Blue - Arrested 12/16/2009 16:40 at 6527 Whitefeather Road, Joshua Tree - Charges: PC1551.1 - No Bail, no appearance date set as of today ]
Natrona County Sheriff’s Office investigator Michael Steinberg read the Craigslist posting during McDowell’s preliminary hearing Tuesday morning in Circuit Court.
“Need a real aggressive man with no concern for women,” it read.
The alleged victim told police that before the rapist forced himself on her, he said, “You want an aggressive man, b—? I’ll show you aggressive.”
“While the case is unusual, it is nothing more than rape,” District Attorney Michael A. Blonigen said. “And any reasonable person would know it. No reasonable person would view this as a fantasy somebody set up.”
Steinberg, the only witness called during the hearing Tuesday morning, said the investigation revealed no signs of consent on the alleged victim’s part.
“He wants everyone to believe he can rely on e-mails and do this and it’s all OK,” Blonigen said of the defendant.
Judge Michael N. Patchen moved McDowell’s case to District Court, where he will be scheduled to stand trial.
McDowell, who in a previous court appearance said he worked in the radiology department at Wyoming Medical Center, faces life in prison if convicted.
Shackled and wearing a dark green county-issue jumpsuit, the Bar Nunn resident appeared calm throughout the hour-long hearing.
Authorities received a 911 call at about 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 11 from a woman saying she had just been raped. Prosecutors played the tape in court Monday.
“I was just raped,” are the first words the caller said.
Throughout the chilling recording, which lasted a little more than five minutes, the woman spoke in a frantic tone and can be heard weeping throughout.
“He tried to slit my throat,” she said, telling the dispatcher she did not know her attacker. “Please help me.”
The Star-Tribune does not identify victims of sexual assault.
Steinberg testified Tuesday that officers found her naked in her living room, her hands “bound and tied.” Police could hear her cries while standing outside the home.
“It had to be cut in three different places to get it off of her,” he said of the rope used to tie up the woman.
She sustained bruises on her arms and legs and large scratches on her stomach and chest.
In a subsequent interview, the woman told police that she had taken her boyfriend to work on Dec. 11 and returned home. While she was unlocking her door, the attacker grabbed her from behind and shoved her into the home, eventually wrestling her to the ground in the kitchen, Steinberg said.
The woman fought back, Steinberg said, striking the attacker with a wine rack. At that point, he punched her in the nose.
The attacker then dragged the woman into the living room area and tied her hands behind her back with a rope that had a “noose” on one end, Steinberg said. “She was fearful that she would be killed at this point,” he said.
The rapist attempted to gag her with a rag but was bitten on his hand. He then blindfolded the woman with the rag, which came from the Wyoming Medical Center, Steinberg said.
Authorities say the woman was raped with both a knife sharpener and penis.
“He told her several times throughout the whole thing to shut up,” Steinberg said.
The woman told police he held a knife at her neck during the rape.
According to testimony Tuesday, after raping the victim, the attacker put the knife in the dishwasher and left, locking the door behind him.
E-mails before and after
Craigslist is an Internet site that allows users to post classified advertisements online at no charge.
Steinberg testified that the ad Stipe allegedly posted on Dec. 5 included a picture of the future rape victim. The woman told police she had complained to Craigslist about the ad several days before being raped.
She told police she had sent the picture included in the ad to four people, Stipe being one of them.
An investigation revealed that Stipe — pretending to be the woman — communicated with McDowell via e-mail several times before the rape, Steinberg said. Stipe gave the woman’s address to McDowell.
“The defendant thought he was talking to (the woman)?” defense attorney Tim Cotton asked.
“He could have,” Steinberg said.
“In those e-mails, that person was asking to be raped, correct?” Cotton asked.
Blonigen asked the investigator what was requested in the e-mails allegedly exchanged between Stipe and McDowell.
“Humiliation, physical abuse, sexual abuse,” Steinberg said. “The words ‘pimping her out’ to his friends, along with the rape.”
Stipe also communicated with McDowell after the rape, the investigator said.
“He asked him to give details about what happened, from start to finish,” Steinberg said.
Blonigen asked if Stipe said he experienced sexual gratification from the alleged retelling.
“He did say he was excited,” Steinberg said.
The investigator testified that McDowell, while authorities interviewed him about the rape, said, “I didn’t really think she really wanted it, but she was enjoying it.”
During cross-examination, Cotton noted Steinberg said the rapist at one point left the victim in the living room while getting a knife from the kitchen.
“She didn’t run off? She didn’t try to retrieve her phone? She didn’t try to run out of the door?” he asked, adding that the hand-bite the accused rapist sustained didn’t draw blood.
“So this could be entirely consistent with this being a rape fantasy?” Cotton asked.
“Not on her end,” Steinberg responded.
“Well, on his end?”
“I don’t know what he thought,” the investigator said.
McDowell remains in the Natrona County Detention Center on $250,000 bond.
Contact William Browning at email@example.com or 307-266-0534.
Filed under: Civil Liberties, Communications, Free Speech, Information, Military Industrial Complex Tagged: | Bar Nunn, Carbon County, Casper, Jebidiah James Stipe, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Michael A. Blonigen, Michael N. Patchen, Natrona County, Natrona County Detention Center, Natrona County Sheriff's Office, rape, San Bernardino County, Timothy Charles Cotton, Ty Oliver McDowell, USMC, Wyoming, Wyoming Medical Center