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U.S. man who sent Facebook message to rape victim to be extradited from France

FILE - This wanted poster provided by the U.S. Marshals shows Ian Cleary, of Saratoga, Calif. (U.S. Marshals via AP)
FILE – This wanted poster provided by the U.S. Marshals shows Ian Cleary, of Saratoga, Calif. (U.S. Marshals via AP)
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A man accused of raping a fellow Gettysburg College student in 2013 and then writing to her about it on Facebook years later will be extradited to the U.S., a French court ruled on Monday.

Ian Cleary, now 31, has been in custody in France since being picked up in April in the northeastern city of Metz, near the German border, .

On Monday, the over his opposition. Under French law, he had the right to say yay or nay, but that does not affect the ultimate outcome other than to potentially delay it.

It was December 2013 when upperclassman Cleary, then 20, stalked 18-year-old freshman Shannon Keeler at a party, followed her home and barged into her dorm room after the friend who had walked her home left, authorities say.

Cleary allegedly raped her as she pleaded with him to stop and texted her friends for help. The friends ran across the street from the party they had all been attending, but Cleary had already fled, according to authorities.

Though Keeler did all the “right” things both to safeguard herself beforehand and report the crime afterward, Gettysburg officials and other authorities refused to press charges.

The  after Keeler was interviewed by The Associated Press for a story on the difficulties sexual assault victims face in attempting to get campus crimes prosecuted, and discovered Facebook messages from Cleary from the previous year.

“,” he wrote in a series of messages from an account that authorities later verified was his. “I’ll never do it to anyone ever again. I need to hear your voice. I’ll pray for you.”

For years before that, Keeler tried to no avail to get Cleary charged. She did not comment on the most recent development, but through her lawyer in 2021 she said the only reason her case had gotten this far was “because I went public with my story, which no survivor should have to do in order to obtain justice.”

With News Wire Services

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