Facebook encounter leads to kidnapping, rape charges

News & ObserverMarch 23, 2010 

RALEIGH, N.C. — Sheriff's deputies have accused a registered sex offender of using a social networking Internet site to meet an 18-year-old woman and then kidnapping, raping and extorting cash from her, according to court records made public Tuesday.

Ronald Stacey Rhodes, 22, of 1300 Farm Road, Lot 3 in Raleigh, was arrested Sunday by the Wake County Sheriff's Office and is being held at the Wake County jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, authorities reported.

An 18-year-old woman told investigators that she met Rhodes during the week of the Super Bowl on Facebook.com, according to a search warrant application. The woman told investigators that she spent time with Rhodes everyday for a week, including a day-trip to Virginia, according to the court affidavit.

On Feb. 13, the woman told sheriff's deputies that she went to Rhodes' home for dinner. After dinner, Rhodes asked her to his bedroom to show her his N.C. State memorabilia. There, the woman said, Rhodes began to grope her and forcefully kissed her. The woman said when she told Rhodes to stop he grabbed her arm tighter, told her he was a Mason and could have her "erased," according to the affidavit.

The woman told investigators that she understood "erased" to mean that she would disappear or perhaps be killed. She said Rhodes told her to take her clothes off, and fearing for her safety, she complied, court records show. She said Rhodes then photographed her and raped her, before allowing her to leave, according to the affidavit.

The woman told police she returned to Rhodes' home earlier this month to try to persuade him to get rid of the photos he had taken. But Rhodes, she said, told her he would only erase the pictures if she had sex with him. She said she complied.

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