Twentynine Palms Marine who solicited the rape of ex-girlfriend with a knife-sharpening file is arraigned

CASPER, WYO. — Prosecutors on Tuesday, Jan. 19 formally charged a California man with five felonies in connection with allegations that he posted an advertisement on an Internet site requesting the rape of a Casper woman.

Pfc. Jebidiah James Stipe — a maintenance mechanic with VMU-1 at Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms — is accused of posting the Craigslist advertisement that led to the brutal rape of a 25-year-old woman inside her Casper home on Friday, Dec. 11.

The 27-year-old Mar-ine — who has been in custody since Wednesday, Dec. 16 — made his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court on Tuesday. With his hands and ankles shackled, he wore a dark green jumpsuit during the proceeding.

Judge Steven Brown set bond at $500,000.

Stipe, a Carbon County native, has been charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree sexual assault, along with four other felonies.

He faces life in prison if convicted of all charges.

Prosecutors charge that on Saturday, Dec. 5, Stipe posted an advertisement on Craigslist that read, “Need a real aggressive man with no concern for women.” Investigators say Stipe pretended to be the Casper woman when he posted the ad.

Craigslist is an Internet site that allows users to post classified advertisements online at little or no charge.

According to previous courtroom testimony, Stipe and the woman he claimed to be had a brief romantic relationship during summer 2008 and early 2009.

Ty Oliver McDowell, a 26-year-old Mills resident whom sheriff’s deputies say raped the victim, has been charged with first-degree sexual assault, along with four other felonies. He is accused of breaking into the woman’s residence just off Robertson Road, tying her hands behind her back and penetrating her with a knife sharpener and penis. He is also accused of holding a knife to her neck throughout the rape.

The alleged victim told police that right before McDowell accosted her, he said, “You want an aggressive man, b—-. I’ll show you aggressive.” The Star-Tribune does not identify sex crimes victims.

During McDowell’s preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Dec. 29, defense attorney Tim Cotton suggested that McDowell believed he was carrying out a rape fantasy the woman had requested.

At McDowell’s preliminary hearing, Natrona County sheriff’s Investigator Michael Steinberg testified the ad Stipe allegedly posted on Dec. 5 included a picture of the woman. She told police she had sent that picture to four people, Stipe being one of them.

Steinberg said an investigation revealed Stipe — pretending to be the woman — gave her home address to McDowell. The two communicated over the Internet using instant messaging at Yahoo.com, according to court documents. Steinberg said Stipe, still claiming to be the woman, told McDowell the rape fantasy was to include “humiliation, physical abuse and sexual abuse.”

McDowell, who in a previous court appearance said he was employed in the radiology department at Wyoming Medical Center, remains in the Natrona County Detention Center on $250,000 bond.

Stipe is due back in court in the next two weeks for a preliminary hearing, when a judge will decide if enough evidence exists for his case to be bound over to District Court.

Stipe was being processed for administrative separation from the Marine Corps as a result of a pattern of misconduct at the time of his according to the base Public Affairs Office.

Contact William Browning at william.browning@trib.com or (307) 266-0534.

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