Who is Ian Cleary? California man who raped junior in college charged 8 years later
GETTYSBURG, PENNSYLVANIA: Authorities in Pennsylvania on Tuesday, June 29, filed an arrest warrant in a 2013 campus sexual assault at Gettysburg College, nearly eight years after the alleged victim went to the police.
The warrant also comes a year after the alleged victim received a Facebook message that said, “So I raped you.”
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In 2020, Shannon Keeler found messages on Facebook dated December 2019 that read: “So I raped you. I’ll never do it to anyone ever again. I need to hear your voice. I’ll pray for you.” In December 2013, on the final night of her first semester of college, an upperclassman at Gettysburg College stalked her at a party, followed her to her dorm, and knocked on her door. “I opened it and I texted my friends that he was here and I needed help. And he raped me,” Keeler said.
“As soon as he did, he started crying after. He said, ‘I didn’t mean to hurt you. Did I hurt you?’” she told the Associated Press. “And then he ran away.” At that point, she did not even know his name. She reported the rape that day, met with police, and even underwent an intrusive rape exam. And she pushed for legal action. Yet, at every turn, she met dead ends. Authorities at the time told her it was hard to prosecute cases when the victim had been drinking, she said. The rape kit was later lost. But it was the Facebook messages, years later, that did the trick.
Who is Ian Cleary?
A team of police and prosecutors on Tuesday obtained an arrest warrant, charging Ian Cleary with sexually assaulting Keeler when they were students at Gettysburg College in 2013. The 28-year-old man, who hails from Saratoga, California, has not yet been located by law enforcement authorities. AP reported that Cleary appears to have lived in Europe in recent years.
Officials said that efforts to locate him could stretch across the country and overseas. Washington lawyer Laura Dunn, who represents Keeler, said, “I remain hopeful, but I do have a serious concern with the fact that he has not yet been arrested, not yet been located.”
Cleary, per Keeler, never returned to campus after that semester, ending the school’s Title IX investigation. He reportedly later graduated from a university in northern California. An affidavit filed with the warrant accuses Cleary, then a junior and a goalie on the ice hockey team at Gettysburg College, of following Keeler home from the party, sneaking into her room, and sexually assaulting her.
The Gettysburg Police Department had reopened the case last year after Keeler showed them the messages that came from Cleary’s Facebook account. Police got a search warrant for the account and matched it to Cleary through the cellphone number. “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,” Keeler said in a statement issued through her lawyer.