Jun 22, 2023
In June 2021, Dordulian Law Group published a blog detailing how sexual assault survivor Shannon Keeler pursued justice on her own terms after receiving a Facebook message from her assailant which read, “So I raped you.”
The sexual predator, who stalked Keeler at a college campus party, snuck into her dorm, and then attacked her while she pleaded for help, was never criminally charged despite the survivor reporting the incident, identifying the suspect, and undergoing a rape kit.
But the Facebook burst of messages from suspected rapist Ian Cleary (30), formerly of Saratoga Springs, California, was damning:
Ian Cleary was the same suspect Shannon Keeler had identified to police eight years prior to receiving those Facebook messages. However, no action was taken by the local district attorney’s office in prosecuting Cleary at the time of Keeler making her report. In fact, even after providing the new Facebook messages to law enforcement in 2020, local officials declined her pleas to file charges against Cleary.
It wasn’t until the Associated Press ran a story later that year highlighting the inaction on the part of law enforcement that they eventually reversed course, with Pennsylvania prosecutors finally issuing an arrest warrant in 2021 and subsequently charging Cleary with sexually assaulting Keeler when they were both students at Gettysburg College in 2013.
However, as a new report from the Associated Press (AP) notes, two years after the charges were filed against rape suspect Ian Cleary, he remains on the run.
The AP said that Keeler and her attorneys “…question how Ian T. Cleary has avoided capture in an age when people are tracked by their cellphones, internet connections, security cameras and credit card purchases.”
Investigators, led by the U.S. Marshals Service, believe the 30-year-old from Silicon Valley is likely overseas and on the move, according to the AP.
The AP’s latest report provided additional details about Cleary which may help in identifying his whereabouts:
“How is he financially supporting himself? How is he able to travel abroad without detection? Has he assumed a false identity?” Andrea Levy, legal director of the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape, asked the AP. “Who’s helping him?”
As the search for Cleary continues, the AP confirmed that both Cleary’s father in California, a marketing executive who has served as a professor and trustee at Santa Clara, and his mother in Baltimore failed to return messages from the media outlet this month seeking comment.
Additional information related to the ongoing search for rape suspect Ian Cleary includes:
A recent Los Angeles Times report highlighted a widespread issue for survivors of campus sexual violence: most California colleges do not offer rape kits for students. The report features an incident involving a UC Irvine student who was sexually assaulted and, despite seeking a rape kit/DNA forensic exam, was faced with a number of hurdles.
“She walked into the nearest emergency room after her attack only to find out that it did not offer rape test kits. By the time she was rerouted, it was 2 a.m., and the student, exhausted in the throes of trauma, declined to make the trip to Anaheim to the nearest facility offering an exam – more than 19 miles off campus,” the Los Angeles Times reported.
The Los Angeles Times further confirms:
However, the Times appropriately notes that offering rape kits on campuses would mean including DNA collection evidence that could be key to prosecuting rapists. Furthermore, having sexual assault survivor resources available ensures proper medical care such as sexually transmitted infection testing and emergency contraception.
“Prior attempts at state legislation to require forensic exams on college campuses have failed, but student advocacy groups aren’t giving up. They are lobbying politicians and putting pressure on university administrators to create more on-campus treatment for sexual violence, pointing to research that shows college students are both more likely to be sexually assaulted and less likely to report the assault to police,” the Los Angeles Times said.
In April, the University of California Irvine opened a new sexual assault exam room which the Times called “a potential model for better systemic access.” The private space is the only of its kind on any college campus in California and offers important survivor amenities:
Every detail of the new UC Irvine unit is “trauma informed,” Eli Pascal, director of UCI’s Campus Assault Resources, told the Los Angeles Times – and that includes details such as soft lighting and a calm shade of sage green painted on the walls.
Rape kits can be invasive and traumatic experiences for survivors of sexual assault. However, the importance of having a SANE Exam (conducted by a specialized Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner) or rape kit completed after surviving sexual assault can help in identifying a suspect and holding that perpetrator accountable.
Rape kits are used to gather critical forensic evidence that can help in prosecuting a sexual assailant. Fibers from clothing, hair, and bodily fluids (saliva, semen, blood, etc.) may all be collected during a rape kit exam. Samples of cervical tissues may also be taken and sent to a laboratory for further analysis.
Additionally, blood and urine tests are performed. The blood tests can screen for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or pregnancy.
Rape kits involve a medical process whereby forensic evidence is gathered from the body, clothing, and any other physical items that may have been with the victim at the time of the sexual assault. According to the EndtheBacklog.org website, the following items can be found within most rape kits:
Rape kit examinations may be conducted by a doctor or nurse, but certain hospitals have specially trained professionals on staff who have direct experience assisting sexual assault survivors. Those professionals include:
According to EndtheBacklog.org, facilities with trained examiners “significantly increase evidence collection and investigation in sexual assault cases, which results in significantly higher prosecution rates.” Additionally, EndtheBacklog.org confirms that SANEs and SAFEs are specially trained to conduct rape kit exams that are “sensitive, dignified, and reduce trauma.”
Dordulian Law Group’s partner organization, RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest Network) provides a listing of local crisis centers where trained SANE and SAFE professionals are available. Survivors can search according to their specific location to find a facility nearby where a rape exam can be performed.
Filing a civil claim against a sexual predator can be done in addition to any criminal charges which may be brought. Moreover, civil lawsuits can be avenues whereby sexual assault survivors are able to recover much-needed financial compensation for various damages:
To speak with one of our compassionate and dedicated team members, contact a Dordulian Law Group (DLG) sexual assault attorney today at 866-GO-SEE-SAM for a free and confidential consultation. We’re here to fight for justice on your behalf and will work tirelessly to secure the maximum financial compensation you deserve.
Contact DLG at 866-GO-SEE-SAM to take the first step toward getting justice for your sexual assault case.
Dordulian Law Group is founded by former sex crimes prosecutor Sam Dordulian, an experienced and proven litigator with more than 100 jury trial victories who has obtained over $100,000,000.00 in settlements and verdicts for clients.
Our law firm in Glendale, CA advocates for victims of sexual assault, injury, employment disputes, and personal injury concerns.