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Springfield man accused of using dating website in rape, kidnapping

A Springfield man has been indicted on charges of rape and kidnapping in connection with the sexual assault of a woman police said he lured through an online dating site.

Caylan Butcher, 26, of Springfield, was secretly indicted on the charges in May by a Clark County grand jury. He was then re-indicted Monday to fix a clerical error in the indictment.

He’s pleaded not guilty and is booked in the Clark County Jail on a $100,000 bond.

Police alleged the sexual assault happened in November and said DNA evidence from a rape kit linked Butcher to the crime.

Butcher allegedly met the victim using a fake profile on the online dating site meetme.com, said Detective Sandy Fent of the Springfield Police Division.

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“(Butcher) pretended to be another person and (the victim) agreed after speaking either online or via text for a few weeks, she decided to meet this person,” Fent said.

As the victim arrived at his Wilson Avenue home, police said Butcher texted her — while he was still allegedly pretending to be his fake, online personality — saying he wasn’t home, but his “brother” was and that the brother would let her in.

The victim told detectives she was leery, Fent said, but the 19-year-old went inside. Butcher is accused of holding the woman against her will and raping her, according to court records.

Fent called it a “calculated plan.”

The woman immediately went to the hospital to report the rape, Fent said, and DNA and other evidence of the sexual assault was collected.

At the end of January the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation contacted Springfield police about a DNA match from the kit.

Butcher had a previous felony conviction of attempted burglary that required him to give a DNA sample to the state database, according to court records.

The man denied the rape, Fent said, but the DNA evidence “is solid.”

Police recommend using caution when meeting someone in person from an online or smart-phone dating app.

“You don’t know who you’re really meeting or talking to so a suggestion is to meet in public,” Fent said.

The Springfield News-Sun reached out to MeetMe about protection on the app. Filters online are used to prevent “objectionable” content, the company wrote in a statement.

“But offline interactions can carry risk, which is why we display safety messages to every logged-in user about the potential dangers of meeting people they don’t know,” the company statement says.

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