Police in Alberta have issued a warning about online dating after a woman who responded to a personal ad was allegedly given a "date rape" drug and sexually assaulted.
RCMP said yesterday they have charged a Calgary man in connection with the alleged attack on a 21-year-old woman, who replied to an advertisement entitled "Exchange House with Good Time."
An ad with that title was posted on Aug. 4 on Kijiji, a free local classified site, under the "casual encounters" section, but has since been removed.
The posting, which was rife with spelling and grammatical errors, appeared to offer accommodation in a 2,600-square-foot furnished home in exchange for sex.
"i m 31 yr old opn mind easy going decent profemployed man i have one extra house where nice girlcan stay how long she wants she just need to trade some fun with me," the ad said.
The woman exchanged e-mails with the person who placed the ad before she agreed to a meeting in Calgary on Aug. 6. The pair then travelled to a residence in Chestermere, just east of the city.
It was there, police say, that the woman was given a drug that knocked her out. She was allegedly sexually assaulted for hours. When she regained consciousness, she called police.
The woman was treated in hospital and released.
"The predators are out there using those sites for the anonymity of them so they can gain access to people to victimize," said RCMP Sergeant Patrick Webb.
This year, a 22-year-old Boston man became known as the "Craigslist killer" after he was charged with killing a woman and robbing another, both of whom advertised their services on Craigslist.
In April, a 20-year-old Minnesota man was convicted of murder in the 2007 death of a 24-year-old woman who responded to an advertisement for a nanny that was posted on Craigslist.
Investigators in Alberta hope to speak with other women who may have responded to the ad but have been reluctant to come forward.
"We want them to realize it's a criminal act and you cannot consent to have sexual assault done upon yourself," Sgt. Webb said.
Ramanjit Singh Dhaliwal, 32, is charged with sexual assault causing bodily harm, administering a noxious substance and forcible confinement. He has been released from custody pending his next court appearance on Sept. 15.