An Ohio man has been charged with rape after the alleged victim recorded and uploaded a video of the assault to Snapchat.
James D. Allen, 77, is being held on a $1 million (£800,000) bond. During a court appearance today, Allen told the judge that he doesn't have an attorney but plans on hiring one. The alleged victim is Allen's 20-year-old step-granddaughter, BuzzFeed News reports.
Allen was arrested at approximately 1 a.m. this morning after a Texas man requested a welfare check on his female friend, who is not being identified due to the nature of the crime. Danbury Township Police Chief Michael S. Meisler told BuzzFeed News that officers checked on the woman and she initially seemed intoxicated but fine.
The police returned after her friend contacted them again, this time telling them that he had received two Snapchat videos of the woman being sexually assaulted.
"The most upsetting thing about this is that this is her stepgrandfather," Meisler told BuzzFeed News. "He married her biological grandmother. He was the one who provided her with the alcohol that evening."
Although Meisler declined to describe the exact content of the videos, he stated they are very "clear."
Ottawa County Prosecutor James VanEerten said the woman likely captured the videos to create a record of the assault. "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," VanEerten said.
It's unclear how many people received the videos, but VanEerten urged recipients to delete them immediately. Investigators are in possession of both videos, and sharing them further would only re-victimise the woman.
This isn't the first time footage of an assault has been streamed on social media. In March dozens of people watched a Facebook Live stream of a 15-year-old Chicago girl's assault, but no one called the police. Fortunately, recipients of the Ohio woman's Snapchat video took immediate action and helped police make a quick arrest.