A Franklin man is accused of kidnapping and raping a woman he met through an internet dating site, and this isn't his first run-in with the law.
A neighbor found a woman in the parking lot of a Franklin apartment complex on Moher Boulevard about 3 a.m. Tuesday, with her hands bound and injuries to her face.
"The woman was visibly upset. The officers found definitely signs of criminal activity with this woman," said Franklin police spokesman Lt. Charlie Warner.
Police say the victim in her 20s met the alleged attacker, 40-year-old George McIntosh, on a popular internet dating site.
"The suspect and victim in this case were known to each other. It was told to us they had met about one month ago on an internet dating site. The woman had just recently moved in recently with this man, reportedly her boyfriend," Warner said.
The victim told police McIntosh bound her hands and feet, drugged and gagged her inside his apartment.
McIntosh, a real estate agent with Benchmark Realty, was charged with aggravated rape and aggravated kidnapping, and he remains in jail on a $1 million bond.
"If you meet online or meet in the mall, the fact is how well could you know someone in 30 days? In most cases, the answer is not very well. There are safeguards you can take and make sure are in place before you let someone in and trust them as much as you like to," Warner said.
Neighbors said they were shocked and surprised that something like this could happen so close to home, but they are also thankful the victim was found in time.
"The victim in this case certainly wasn't reckless. She had known this man for about a month. But it does beg the question for others out there meeting people online, is how well can you know a person in about a month," Warner said.
This is not McIntosh's first run-in with police. In 2008, he was arrested for domestic assault. That case was retired, and he was ordered to pay $100 to the Bridges Domestic Violence Shelter in Franklin.
Court officials says he did comply with the payment.
Police say the best safeguard for people in situations like this is common sense.
"If something tells you it feels wrong, it probably is," Warner said.
And there are a few key ways to keep yourself safe when dating someone you meet online.
According to experts, you should meet in a safe and public place, tell a friend or family member where you will be and who you are meeting and don't give out personal information like your home address.
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