Warrant: Registered sex offender might have used Facebook to lure woman
Posted October 3, 2013
Updated October 8, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — Raleigh police believe a registered sex offender facing attempted rape, kidnapping and extortion charges might have used Facebook to pose as a modeling agent to meet a woman who says he blackmailed her into having sex with him.
The Sept. 11 search warrant, returned Wednesday, alleges that Ronald Stacey Rhodes, 26, of Lot 3, 1300 Farm Road, lured the woman to a hotel on South Wilmington Street in late August and promised her "large sums of money" for a photo shoot.
When she wasn't paid, police allege, the woman contacted Rhodes, who asked for sexual favors and threatened to release compromising photos of her to her friends and family if she didn't perform for him.
The warrants state that the woman and a friend of hers later confronted Rhodes at the hotel, where the women said Rhodes assaulted them and kept them from leaving the hotel room.
The two eventually were able to escape and went to police.
The allegations aren't the first against Rhodes, who is jailed in the case under an $830,000 secured bond on charges of extortion, attempted second-degree rape, disseminating obscenity, assault on a female and two counts of first-degree kidnapping.
In requesting permission to access Rhodes' Facebook page, as well as his Instagram account, investigators said in the warrants that he is also under investigation for similar charges in Mecklenburg County.
Davidson police Sgt. Steve Ingram said Thursday that warrants have been issued for Rhodes' arrest on charges of extortion and disseminating obscene material. He said they relate to the Raleigh case but declined to comment further.
In 2010, Rhodes was convicted on similar charges after a woman told police she met him on Facebook and that he threatened to "erase" her if she didn't have sex with him.
Rhodes also took pictures of the woman and recorded them having sex. He promised to delete the pictures but later threatened to distribute them unless she paid him money, according to court records.
Raleigh police said Thursday that their investigation is ongoing and that they want to hear from any other women who might have had similar situations with Rhodes.
Rhodes has been on the North Carolina Sex Offender Registry since September 2004, when he was convicted of second-degree kidnapping involving a 12-year-old. He was 16 at the time.
State law currently makes it a felony for registered sex offenders to use social media websites. In August, however, the North Carolina Court of Appeals struck down the law based on its constitutionality.
The state attorney general's office is appealing the decision.