A 77-year-old Ohio man was charged with felony rape after police say his 20-year-old step granddaughter posted a Snapchat video of herself being raped and a friend who saw it alerted authorities.
James Allen of Marblehead was arrested Tuesday (8 August) by Danbury Township police after authorities received a call at about 1am from a Texas man requesting a welfare check on his female friend.
Police chief Michael Meisler told BuzzFeed News that officers checked on the woman, who was intoxicated but appeared fine. Officer did not see anything out of the ordinary and felt the woman was safe, Meisler said.
The woman's friend from Texas called Ohio police again, telling them he received two Snapchat videos from his friend that showed her being assaulted, BuzzFeed News reported.
Authorities reviewed evidence from the Snapchat post and returned to the residence to arrest Allen, Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten told the Toledo Blade.
VanEerten said it was not clear why the victim made the video but suggested to the Blade that she did so to create a record. "It's obviously horrific, but at least it allowed us to put a stop to the situation and make a quick arrest in this case," he said.
"The most upsetting thing about this is that this is her step grandfather," Meisler said. "He married her biological grandmother. He was the one who provided her with the alcohol that evening."
VanEerten urged anyone who received the video to delete it immediately as investigators already have a copy and they do not want to victimize the woman any further. The victim was evaluated at Firelands Regional Medical Center in Sandusky.
Allen is being held on a $1m bond. According to Fox8 Cleveland, he appeared in court Wednesday (9 August) and told a judge that he did not have an attorney but planned to hire one.