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Real estate agent raped in Cary home

Posted September 7, 2009

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— A Raleigh man has been charged with raping a real estate agent on Sunday while she was showing him a house in Cary, police said.

Michael Edward Sleeman, 33, of 5912 Holland Farms Way, is charged with one count each of first-degree sexual offense and first-degree kidnapping. He was being held Monday in the Wake County jail under a $2 million. bond.

Lt. John Szymeczek of the Cary Police Department said Sleeman asked the woman to see homes in the West Lake community, which is under development off West Lake Road. After she showed him one home, he asked to see something smaller, and she took him to another home in the development, police said.

Woman raped while showing home Woman raped while showing home

Once inside the home on Blue Thorn Drive, he pulled out a knife and attacked the woman, Szymeczek said. She told investigators that her attacker restrained her and threatened her, and she said he also told her he was a convicted sex offender.

"He did use restraints during the course of the assault – bound her so that she was unable to move about freely – and displayed a weapon and threatened to harm her with it," Szymeczek said. "All sex offenders have a predatory nature, but this was pretty calculated."

The woman said she was allowed to leave in her car, and she called a friend, who called police.

Residents on an adjacent cul-de-sac said they didn't see or hear anything Sunday afternoon. Several who have lived in the neighborhood for only a few weeks said they were concerned that such a violent crime occurred in the area.

"I was actually shocked. It's a pretty quiet, low-key neighborhood," resident Debbie Danner said.

West Lake, which is located across the street from Middle Creek Elementary School, is being developed by D.R. Horton. There are about 100 single-family lots and a townhouse complex in the development, with homes starting at $240,000.

When Sleeman registered in West Lake's model home, he gave some accurate details of his identity, and Sgt. Marcus Pearson was able to piece that information together with information from North Carolina's sex offender registry to track Sleeman to his home, Szymeczek said.

"Officers went to talk with him, and I'm not sure I would call it an outright confession, but he certainly gave enough information to make probable cause for an arrest," he said.

Sleeman pleaded guilty in 2002 to aggravated sexual battery in Virginia and was placed on probation. In North Carolina, he was arrested in 1998 on a charge of assault on a female and again in 2003 on a charge of soliciting for prostitution. Both of those charges were dismissed.

He has lived in Raleigh for several years with his wife and mother. Susan Sleeman declined to comment Monday on her husband's arrest.

Neighbors said someone put fliers in their mailboxes shortly after he moved in noting that he was a registered sex offender.

"It's very disappointing that someone so close by could be capable of such a thing," neighbor Thomas Guettler said.

71 Comments

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  • dws Sep 8, 6:30 p.m.

    People really do need to take their personal safety more seriously and look after themselves in terms of self defense.

  • Professor Sep 8, 2:47 p.m.

    This man should received life in prison without parole. This is a shame and I hope the lady in time will pull through. I also hope the agency and others will learn something from this and never allow a lady to go alone when there is only a man to show the homes to. Do a back ground check would be helpful. This is dangerous and I hope the agencies will do something different in showing homes and make it safe for all their employees, especially women.

  • wakeconative4ever Sep 8, 1:59 p.m.

    This man should have been in jail for past offenses. I, too, agree that real estate agents should not show a home alone. They also need to carry a gun. I don't work, but the idiot who tries to break in my house if I am alone will get a ride in a hearse. I believe in deadly force if I am attacked.

  • tran Sep 8, 12:22 p.m.

    This sex offender registry and the silly circle drawing nonsense is useless. This guy should have faced a firing squad for the first offense.

    If this realtor had a 38 in her purse, he would have been the one penetrated instead.

  • Historian-the naked gardener Sep 8, 12:20 p.m.

    Bless her heart! I hope they never let this sexual predator out again.

    They should never go alone to these showings, no exceptions. This day and time you just can't risk it. Meeting a total stranger by yourself is very dangerous no matter what the reason is. Identity theft and fake ID's happen every day so background checks and picture ID's are not going to deter the aggressive predator.

  • jse830fcnawa030klgmvnnaw+ Sep 8, 11:38 a.m.

    Pretty sad. I believe because of this type of incident, every real estate agent should do a background check of their potential customers. Just remember to do the "50-state" name check and not just for the county, and ask to see the driver's license too.

    Another option is for the RE agent to have a concealed handgun permit and know how to use it...

  • DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT Sep 8, 11:23 a.m.

    There is a movie from 15 or 20 years ago that is about a man that attacks female real estate agents in homes for sale. The details in this attack sound a lot like what happened in the movie.

  • HappyGirl08 Sep 8, 11:10 a.m.

    How Horrible!! Poor woman! Thank God he didn't kill her. Also, thankfully he was dumb enough to register his personal information so he could be caught. Hopefully this time they'll lock him up and throw away the key!

  • veyor Sep 8, 9:39 a.m.

    A Ladysmith with pink grips in .38 caliber. She might not have been able to get to it fast enough...but then on the other hand the creep's outline might be chalked on the floor today.

  • JuanGrande v3.0 Sep 8, 9:06 a.m.

    another example of how sexual predators can not be "cured"

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