A 77-year-old Ohio man has been arrested and charged with raping his 20-year-old step-granddaughter after she reportedly shared video footage of the assault on Snapchat.
Police said that the suspect, James Allen, gave the victim alcohol and then took advantage of her while she protested, as depicted in the footage the woman took of the older man raping her early in the morning of Aug. 8, reports The Toledo Blade.
"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," Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten told the Toledo Blade.
It was not immediately clear why the intoxicated woman filmed the assault and shared it publicly, but VanEerten said he believed she did so to generate and preserve evidence of the crime. It is unknown if the videos were livestreamed or captured and later uploaded to the social media site.
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Police said that they received a call from a Texas man at around 1 a.m. the morning of the incident requesting a welfare check on the woman, reports BuzzFeed News. They found her to be intoxicated but otherwise fine and left, not having any knowledge of the sexual assault. Later, the same man called again and said that he received two Snapchat videos from his friend that showed her being raped, so officers went back to the home and arrested Allen.
"The most upsetting thing about this is that this is her step-grandfather," Danbury Township Police Chief Michael S. Meisler told BuzzFeed News. "He married her biological grandmother. He was the one who provided her with the alcohol that evening."
Meisler declined to comment on specifically what happened in the videos but described them as "clear," according to the Port Clinton News Herald.
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Allen, who reportedly cooperated with authorities during the investigation, is being held pending a $1 million bail. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The suspect appeared in court on Aug. 9, reports The Associated Press. He said that he does not yet have an attorney but intends to hire one for future proceedings.
VanEerten said that any people who have copies of the video should delete them immediately and refrain from sharing them out of respect for the victim, as officers already have a copy of the pertinent evidence, according to the Toledo Blade.