Woman Got Chilling Facebook Message: ‘So I Raped You.’ After 3-Year Search, Suspect Is Arrested Overseas

While a freshman at Gettysburg College in 2013, Shannon Keeler says she was raped by Ian Cleary, who she says followed her home

<p>AP Photo, U.S. Marshals via AP</p> Shannon Keeler, Ian Cleary

AP Photo, U.S. Marshals via AP

Shannon Keeler, Ian Cleary

Shannon Keeler was floored when she read a Facebook message from a man she had accused of sexually assaulting her in 2013 when she was a freshman in college.

“I need to hear your voice,” Ian Cleary, now 31, of Saratoga, Calif., allegedly wrote to her in a 2019 message she discovered in 2020, according to a probable cause affidavit obtained by PEOPLE. “I need to know if I did it or not.”

In an even more chilling message, he allegedly wrote, "So I raped you.”

Keeler had spent years trying to convince authorities to arrest the upperclassman she accused of raping her when they were both students at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pa., to no avail.

After receiving the Facebook messages from Cleary, she notified police, but nothing happened. In 2021, she also spoke to the Associated Press for a story about how difficult it is to prosecute sex crimes on college campuses.

Weeks later, Adams County District Attorney Brian Sinnett filed a felony arrest warrant charging Cleary with sexual assault.

<p>U.S. Marshals via AP</p> A U.S. Marshals Wanted poster for Ian Cleary

U.S. Marshals via AP

A U.S. Marshals Wanted poster for Ian Cleary

Now, after a three-year search, a prosecutor in Metz, France, confirmed on Tuesday that Cleary has been detained since April 24 after being taken into custody as part of a police check, the AP and The New York Times report.

He is being held in French custody pending extradition proceedings, the AP reports.

Related: 'So I Raped You': Facebook Message Leads to Arrest Warrant in Alleged 2013 Campus Assault

An attorney for Cleary did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s requests for comment.

Keeler's attorney, Andrea Levy, declined to comment on the arrest.

In 2021, after the warrant was issued for Cleary’s arrest, Keeler said in a statement shared with PEOPLE through her attorney, Laura Dunn, that "While I am moved to tears by this result, which I have waited for (for) over seven years, I am mindful that this moment came because I went public with my story, which no survivor should have to do in order to obtain justice.”

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Keeler's ordeal began on Dec. 15, 2013, when she had a friend walk her back to her dorm after a party to celebrate finals, where a “kid” had been “creeping her out,” the affidavit alleges.

The kid, later identified as Cleary, who was 20 at the time, allegedly followed her and her friend back to the dorm, offering the friend $20 so he could be alone with Keeler, according to the affidavit.

The friend told Cleary to go away, the affidavit says. Ten minutes later, Keeler heard a knock on the door and opened it thinking it was another friend, the affidavit says. It was Cleary, who walked in, began kissing Keeler before assaulting her, the affidavit alleges.

Keeler texted friends saying, “Help please” and “OMG please Help me,” before the alleged assault, according to the affidavit.

Keeler reported the alleged attack to police, underwent a rape kit test and found witnesses who saw Cleary that night, the affidavit says.

Authorities reopened the case after Keeler told them about the online messages and after the AP story about her case ran.

Police linked Cleary’s Facebook account with a matching cell phone number.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, please contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673) or go to rainn.org.

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