Police: Woman fights off attacker she met online

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COLUMBIA - Columbia police arrested a Jefferson City man Sunday for allegedly attempting to sexually assault a woman he met online. 

Police said a 25-year-old woman arranged a meeting with Jemell Dupree Butler, 19. Police said both were in the woman's car when Butler allegedly showed a knife and demanded the woman perform a sexual act. 

CPD said and the woman struggled for the knife and Butler received cuts to his hands. Police said he then took the victim’s cell phone when she tried to contact police and then ran from the scene on foot.

The woman then drove to the Fazoli’s restaurant on I-70 Drive to contact police. Police said she wasn't injured in the attack. 

Butler was arrested at 5:48 p.m. Sunday and faces charges of armed criminal action, first-degree robbery and first-degree sodomy. Butler also faced a total bond of $2,900 relating to prior warrants.

Butler was listed as an inmate in the Boone County Jail as of Monday morning. 

Tracy Perkins, a detective with the Boone County Sheriff's Department said crimes like these, as well as cyber bullying, are often under reported because the victims feel ashamed of themselves and place the blame on themselves. 

Perkins said they like to remind people of the concept of 'stranger danger' but with the internet, victims may not see it as 'stranger danger' because they've been talking to them previously.  

"There's people out there who are very dangerous folks, and who are willing to harm you, over a time that you thought was just an innocent connection," said Perkins.

Perkins called this process of saying the right things and making people feel like they're number one, grooming. She said no matter your age, people are master manipulators and they can manipulate you to believe anything. 

 

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