‘Backpage.com’ sexual assault suspect arrested, released on bail

Summerville police have arrested and released Thomas Powell, the man accused of meeting a woman on Backpage and then physically and sexually assaulting her.

Powell, 28 of Summerville is accused of kidnapping, criminal sexual conduct and an additional charge of assault with intent to commit criminal sexual conduct in the first degree.

Powell was arrested  on Wednesday, February 3 and bonded out sometime last week.

A woman who posted an ad on Backpage as an escort reported to authorities after she was physically and sexually assaulted by the man who agreed to meet up with her.

The victim told authorities the incident happened at a residence on Saturday, January 9 at the 100 block of Wainwright Manner in Summerville.

During the course of this investigation, Summerville police are investigating other incidents of women throughout the area that have been assaulted after communicating with a man on Backpage.

That investigation has been underway for the past 18 months.

At the time of Powell’s arrest, we asked for his name and booking photo from the Summerville Police.  We were told the information was a part of their investigation and would not be released.

Summerville Police spokesman Jon Rogers told our Ashley Yost “When a person’s released from jail on charges such as this, the victim is notified of the release. It would be impossible for the jail to call everybody in the town or in the tri-county area saying this person was released from jail.  The only notifications that are made are made to the victim.”

Meantime, police are requesting that anyone else who may have been victimized in the area following communication on Backpage come forward.

Anyone with more information is asked to call crime stoppers at 843-554-1111.




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