We have Valentine’s Day for celebrating love. We have days to acknowledge Moms, Dads and Grandparents, We even have days to recognize ground hogs. And did you know September 24th is National Punctuation Day…. No kidding!!
How can anyone expect to know the truth when the lies are so ordinary?
A fifty five year old widower meets an attractive New Jersey woman on OKCupid. His wife of thirty years died of an illness and after five years of grieving, and occasional dates, he’s ready to get on with his life. She was his greatest love. They were unable to have children.
He’s a college grad with a steady job, nothing flamboyant or unusual. A family man, his aging mother lives with him in the home he owns.
He notices a single woman with long dark hair and a pretty smile on the e-dating site. She’s financially self-sufficient, also a home owner, with several entrepreneurial interests and teaches music lessons. She’s had relationships with men, and a marriage that ended in divorce.
So who’s defrauding who? Both stories are perfectly plausible, but only one is telling the truth….
The man is a life-long bachelor who strings multiple women along at a time. He’s never been married and lives in his mother’s home. And oh, that college degree, it never happened.
They dated, “monogamously” for several months. When he took a week off from his job without any explanation, our heroine caught onto his penchant for simultaneously juggling multiple “relationships.”
Should she have known?
We’re often told that victims “should know”… Something should seem “off,” or that their personal vulnerabilities made them targets.
Often therapists provide months and months of therapy to unravel the mystery of why someone “chose” to become a victim, as if they fooled themselves instead of getting punked by a despicable liar who targeted and caught them in a web of deceit.
And is it a crime?
The woman had no expectations other than finding a loving person with whom she could share time and experiences. And from wanting to be loved, she became defiled.
The more mundane the lies, the more sinister the erosion of trust for the victim, because they can’t point to anything that could have signaled reality. The violation they feel can have a long reaching affect on the rest of their lives.
While the offender skips along to some new unsuspecting victim, the current one is left with heartache, a pervasive sense of deep-rooted defilement, and life-long trust issues.
Where is justice for these victims?
Hopefully, it lies in New Jersey’s legislation #3908. If you have yet to sign the change.org petition to support this law, please do so today!
Mischele Lewis, who suffered sexual assault by fraud at the hands of William Allen Jordan, (the story that caught the interest of Assemblyman Troy Singleton, and began his journey to introduce legislation,) is far from New Jersey’s only victim of this insidious crime. This law is for all victims. If you’ve suffered SexFraud in NJ, or anywhere for that matter, please let me know. We need examples of this crime for legislative hearings in the Assembly and the Senate.
Thought you might like to see how some folks respond to this defiling crime. This comment was posted on my Facebook page:
I don’t get the story. I was waiting for something more sinister and climactic, like emptying out her bank account or something along those lines. Dating a lying loser is unfortunate but you cannot lock up people for things like that. Life doesn’t come with a warning label.
I found it ironic that Mr. Masi could relate to the theft of the victim’ money, as if that were a major breach, but not the defilement of her sexual sanctity. I responded that some people think sex is nothing more than warm flesh and body fluids. They don’t grasp that a person’s sexual organs are a gateway to their soul. He’s far from alone in his beliefs.
A gentleman named Mal asked me a question this morning that I believe is important for all my followers to see….
I am pretty sure that a large proportion of dating site profiles have at least one lie in them somewhere. Women often lie about their age for example. If you claim to be 38, when you are in fact 42 and then have sex, would that be considered rape?
And here’s my answer:
When you lie about your identity characteristics, you are altering a person’s impression of who you are. If you don’t straighten out this misconception BEFORE you engage in sex, you have duped them into the act. Why would someone be entitled to having sex with another person under false pretenses? You are defrauding them, not seducing them. You are not the person they think you are.
I often say that lying is not a crime, but defrauding someone is. So here’s a perfect example of when a lie becomes a crime.
You shape a person’s concept of “you” with what you say to them. And if you shape yourself to be someone through false personation, you are using identity characteristics that are not “yours” in order to sexually penetrate them.
Make it difficult to fool you!
Because of the significant amount of lies that internet dating sites are known for, I suggest checking an internet date’s ID prior to advancing the relationship.
Obviously, if you meet them and experience no attraction, there’s no need. But if you feel inclined to see them again, exchanging ID would be a good idea. If they resist, it’s a pretty good sign that you should walk away.
When someone asks for an ID check, it’s the right time to confess the lies you wrote into your profile. And if everyone who participated in internet dating, made this a regular practice, you would see the lies diminish. What would be the sense if you would be found out before the relationship got anywhere, and your having lied would paint you as untrustworthy.
An ID check will not give you all the details you’ll want about this person. But, unless they hand you a forgery, which, unfortunately is possible, you’ll at least have their real name, age and address. People who are married are loath to give you their address, so the likelihood of their pretending to be single is reduced.
And…. retain the dating profile of anyone who you go out with!
Should “Counterfeit Daters” be punished?
If a person creates a counterfeit one dollar bill, are they committing a crime? If they use it, they certainly are. And if they pass off a large quantity of them, or tender a forgery of a larger denomination, the penalty for their crime increases. The principle behind the crime, they use a counterfeit to get what they’re after, is the same regardless of the size of the bill. And lying to defraud someone of sex is a crime, regardless of the size of the lie. In fact, the simple lie…… the age, the marital status, that spills off the tongue, in many ways is even more insidious because of its complete reliability.
Please note, however, that no crime can ever be prosecuted without significant proof, so a “he said, she-said,” told to you at a club or a party, will not garner an arrest when you jump into the sack with the offender.
Take an internet relationship slowly. Be sure to get to know the person well. Meet their family and their friends. Be wary of dates who claim to travel for business. It could easily cover up that their spouse is at home, looking after their children, while they travel from date to date.
A woman named Deb contacted me about what had happened to her and asked me to post it. It’s a tale that’s typical of the outrageous behavior of internet romantic scam artists with an enlightening “take-away”.
A little background….
Tom seemed to be a great match for Deb. He found her in an on-line dating site. He was a good communicator and they spent hours on the phone, almost daily, throughout their eight month relationship. She felt the “chemistry” of a new found connection right away when they first met.
He claimed that his job caused him to travel on assignments. Shortly after they met, he was called away. Little did she recognize, at the time, that married men frequently disguise their existing relationships by claiming the need to travel for business.
More false claims
Tom pretended that he was a Marine Reservist and a Forensic Psychologist. He’d been turned down by the Marines and never went to college. He stated his age as 41 when he was actually 52. He is alleged to be a bigamist. The case has been filed against him in New Jersey and is currently pending.
Debunking the myth
We often hear people accuse SexFraud victims of ignorance and gullibility. But one would hardly use those terms to describe Deb. In fact, she’s trained to recognize, sort out, and deal with issues that surface in dating. She’s a dating coach. She believes that the elevated level of conquest piqued Tom’s interest and made her a “high value” target.
You can read more about Deb’s case on her blog. She has located a number of additional victims who Tom has hoaxed and they serve as a support group for each other.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton stepped forward to introduce legislation that will prevent “Sexual Assault by Fraud” throughout the state of New Jersey! The bill is currently sitting with the Legislative Judicial Committee who can “kill the bill” or move it on it’s way toward recognition and acceptance.
When Mischele Lewis first consulted me regarding her case against William Allen Jordan. I researched the laws in her state. The language in NJ on “Aggravated Sexual Assault” seemed to be the closest fit for the crime, but the Prosecutor charged “Sexual Assault by Coercion.” instead. The jury failed to indict because, indeed, no coercion had taken place.
The Jordan case underscores the importance of creating very clear, directed language in the law in order to prosecute offenders who con victims for sex. Countless people are defrauded this way all the time! This bill will raise society’s awareness and make that stop!
Two more cases were recently brought to my attention in NJ. A myriad of others came forward from other states. Only the penal code of Alabama and Tennessee are clear on this heinous crime.
Please make your voice heard!
It only takes half of a second to sign the Change.org petition that tells Legislators in NJ how important this issue is to you! The head of the Judicial Committee receives notice of all signatures. You do not have to be a NJ resident to sign. Please add your voice to this important cause!
Today, New Jersey. Tomorrow the world. You can help raise awareness one signature at a time!
“Thank you so much for being a champion of my cause! I am so grateful to have you in my corner and to help support me through this heinous process!”
Above is the post Mischele Lewis placed on my blog after I’d accompanied her to a hearing and posted on recent events in her case. She’d been turned down for a restraining order against William Allen Jordan, a convicted pedophile and bigamist, who had seduced her in an emotional hoax. The Judge, John Tomasello, failed to enlighten her that a restraining order was already in effect, per Nicole’s Law, a statute providing restraining orders in all sexual assault cases. Nicole’s mother saw my post and contacted me. That’s how we found out.
Lewis claimed that, along with defrauding her of sex, Jordan robbed her of more than $4,000, and impersonated an operative in the British Defense Ministry. Ultimately, Jordan pleaded guilty and allocuted to the robbery and impersonating an officer. He is scheduled to begin his three year sentence in February.
The most troubling aspects of Lewis’s case against Jordan are:
The authorities in the UK did not report deporting him to the US and place his name on Meagen’s List, which identifies sex offenders. Lewis has a teen aged daughter. Jordan has a history of child molestation.
The State of NJ failed to use their existing statutes covering aggravated sexual assault to convict Jordan. Instead they charged him with “Sexual Assault by Coercion,” which could not possible stick. Jordan had not coerced Lewis. In fact, he’d seduced her. Correctly, the Grand Jury failed to indict.
Aiding a victim
When I first met Lewis back in March of 2014, about four months after Carnal Abuse by Deceit was originally published, she was unaware of Rape by Fraud. Donna Anderson, who blogs at LoveFraud, a healing community for victims of relationships with sociopaths, had introduced us. She’d read my book, wanted to know if Lewis’s case met the criteria. and if NJ would punish the offense.
I spoke with Lewis at great length, enlightened her about the crime, researched the NJ statutes, and put an analysis together to give to the police, along with 2 copies of my book. I figured they knew far more about the laws of NJ than I, but wanted to convey that someone who knew something about it was watching and standing behind the victim.
I explained to Lewis that if NJ failed to convict on Aggravated Sexual Assault, we could gain the traction needed to introduce a sexual assault by fraud law in the state. (Jersey uses the term “sexual assault” for such cases, not “rape.”) Anderson, Lewis and I went to the police station together to file her statement.
A light appears at the end of the tunnel!
Fortunately, when the jury failed to indict based on the Prosecutor’s charge, Assemblyman Troy Singleton read the story in the news and contacted Lewis. He introduced Legislation #3908 in the NJ Assembly, Sexual Assault by Fraud, on November 13, 2014.
Assemblyman Singleton is absolutely my hero! After suffering my own personal, decades long journey through rape by fraud, spending 4 years writing my book, blogging, and advocating, I was overwhelmed with joy!
#3908, You can help!
The bill has a long way to go! It was patterned after the statute on sexual assault by fraud in Tennessee which is the broadest of such laws in the country. Media has created hysteria by characterizing the law with absurd scenarios that the statute is not designed to prosecute.
A petition seeking the passage of NJ Assembly Legislation #3908 is posted on change.org. Your voice can make a major impact on passing this bill!
Today, New Jersey…… Tomorrow, your state or jurisdiction! And give all your friends and family the link so they can sign the petition as well! http://www.chn.ge/1t7FZJu Don’t hesitate! Click now to sign!
Watch the Dateline episode on Sunday
Dateline taped Mischele’s story. I was asked to give the “legal framework,” but my section ended up on the cutting room floor. Unfortunately, introduction of the law came too late for the taping, and very little of the finished work mentions the crime of rape by fraud. Still, it will be an interesting depiction of how con artists work to embroil people, looking for love, in sexual and emotional hoaxes. I hope everyone will watch and send a note of appreciation to Assemblyman Troy Singleton, AsmSingleton@njleg.org, to thank him for his efforts and support passage of Legislation #3908, Sexual Assault by Fraud. Due to his actions, the next sexual con artist in NJ may actually get jail-time for their crime!
Rape by fraud can happen to anyone. Mischele Lewis, like everyone else, desired to have love in her life. We’re all wired by nature to do so. No one has the right to exploit our instinct to couple with either physical or emotional rape. By defrauding her of her highest emotion, and sexually penetrating her based on “false personation,” Jordan did both. He is not the only sexual predator out there. There are millions. Society needs to know and put an end to their depravity.
Watch an in-depth explanation of rape by fraud
I was recently interviewed about rape by fraud by The Woman’s Connection. Here’s the link. I hope it will enable viewers to develop a fuller understanding of the crime and its devastation.
Please join me, live on Twitter during the Dateline airing: @jm_short, hashtag #RapeByFraud and hashtag #SexualAssaultByFraud
I receive complaints each and every day about internet dating scams. These stories break my heart. They’re tales of love-bombing and betrayal. Some involve sex addicts. Others hide marriages or money fraud. And my first inclination is to recommend people stay away from dating sites.
MSNBC conducted a survey that calculated 30% of e-dating participants were married. The number was higher for men than women. But the Oasis Singles Blog indicates that 30% of the dating pool, in general, is covering up existing marriages. So if the ratios match, e-dating at least, provides access.
The trick is to use e-dating wisely and be on the watch for hazard signs.
Free sites are apt to contain more scammers than paid resources for obvious reasons. The greater the disclosure and security provided by the site, the more likely they are to eliminate con artists.
If you constantly reach voice mail, rather than securing direct contact, or if their written responses are delayed, your match may be waiting for their wife or business colleagues to get out of the way.
Are they speaking in a hushed tone or only texting late at night? Their spouse could be right alongside them when they do.
Are they making miraculous recoveries from illness? Telling you they’re sick one day, and then appearing perfectly fine the next, could signal they lied to hide their whereabouts.
No photo on the site? When people want to send you their photo privately, rather than place it online, it could signal that they don’t want to be found out by a spouse. Let them know they need to post their picture, not send it to you directly.
Weight, height and age are the most frequently incorrect statements on dating profiles. If it’s important to you, don’t take their word for granted.
If they never take you home or identify where they live, it’s a tip-off that they’re hiding a spouse.
Someone who is really into you would love to show you off to their family. Failure to do so could easily indicate a problem. Con artists will denigrate their family relationships. They’ll even feign that they’re dead. If you don’t meet the family, be very cautious!
Avoid e-dating services that market people as wealthy or millionaires. No one who is wealthy wants to be punked by a Gold Digger. Their interest is not served by attracting you to their affluence, so why would they?
Always Photo ID a person you meet through on-line dating!
I know it sounds intrusive, and it is! But you are taking risks in diving into the dating pool, and so are they. Rather than springing your request to ID them on your first date, let them know ahead of time that you expect to exchange IDs when you meet. Their resistance is a good indication that they’re not on the level.
Reporter, Jessica Schneider, introduced New Jersey’s newly submitted Sexual Assault by Fraud law on the CBS Evening News in NYC, last night, featuring Assembly Member Troy Singleton and myself. Here’s the link.
We need more even handed reporting like this to counter the silliness like “Will I get arrested for wearing Spanx? Afterall, I’m being deceitful about my appearance.”
So to answer a few questions from reddit and other sources….
No, if you tell a person you own a helicopter, and you really don’t, it’s unlikely a case can be made against you. It’s not that you haven’t defrauded the person, it’s just that what you’ve done is not prosecutorial.
And no, if you say, “I’m going to marry you in the morning,” but don’t, or “I’ll love you forever,” when you really don’t mean it, you are not likely to be arrested.
In response to the unnamed gentleman in the clip, the victim of the hoax that precipitated Assemblyman Singleton’s interest in this law, did indeed try to investigate the background of the offender, William Allen Jordan. He had lied to her, not only about multiple identity characteristics, he’d lied to her about his name as well. He made it impossible to check him out.
It wasn’t until they’d dated for over a year and become engaged that she learned his true identity. He was a convicted child molester and bigamist who had been deported from the UK after serving his time.
Not only had this Lothario embroiled the complaining victim, Mischele Lewis, in his scam, just days after his release, while on bail for the charges that were brought against him, he went after a new victim with a similar hoax. Some sexual predators just never learn and the only way to prevent the public from harm is to incarcerate them.
Like in all criminal court cases, the District Attorney and Grand Jury can’t frivolously charge the offender. In order to pursue a case, significant harm and considerable proof must be presented. And in cases in which the lies are of “intent,” it is all too easy to defend your position by merely claiming you changed your mind.
The cases that would more likely be cause for action are ones in which the harm was an ongoing hoax or where the offender gained access to the victim under the cover of darkness or another means of concealment. An additional benefit of this law is that it could provide justice for victims who receive life threatening communicable illnesses from predators who lie about their health.
So while the premise of the law holds true for all cases of sexual assault by fraud, duplicity invalidates consent, only substantial cases will warrant prosecution.
The “E” in e-dating could readily stand for “Easy Pickin’s!”
Gone are the days when families oversaw the courtship of the younger generation. Dowries and chaperoned strolls through the park, characteristic of the 17th century, are long gone. But Andrew G. Gardner, in his Colonial Williamsburg article, Courtship, Sex and the Single Colonist, describes that even in the era of the Puritans, one third of marriages took place with a “bun in the oven.”
Jane Austen’s day was not without scoundrels who made commitments and flew the coupe, leaving the maiden in the socially unacceptable circumstance of being unmarried and pregnant. And young men frequently sought their fortune through their matches. Love often took a back seat to pragmatism and concern for the betterment of the family.
Back then, families were less transient and people knew the character of others who lived in their village or town. A slip in behavior, bad dealings with others, was hard to suppress and marred a person’s reputation for a lifetime.
So why should we expect technology that readily transports strangers into our lives is a safe way to meet a mate? And what about our moral structure enables us to think it okay to engage in sex without thoroughly vetting our love interest?
Whatever a person tells you online could be true, or a total fabrication. And people can transport their charm through techno space as readily as if they sat beside you. What they say can be truth or fiction, depending on their moral compass. They know, if you are looking for love, you are the perfect mark.
Duping people is an art form. And the well practiced CAD is hard to spot. They can lure you with a sympathy play, by mirroring your values, by flattery, and countless other practices that erode your guard.
Some safety guidelines
I’m not saying that you should never engage in internet dating, but rather, you should do so with great caution. Here are some basic protections you should employ:
Check the photo ID of anyone you meet online. Is it unromantic? Yup… but if the person cares about your safety, they won’t be offended.
Be sure to note their age and address. Is it the same information you initially received from them? There is no excuse for a lie of identity. If they told you one, walk out the door. You will never be anything but an object to that person, no matter how charming they appear to be.
Google them. Check them out on Linked-In and their Facebook page. Do they work for a company with a web presence? The likelihood is great that if they used technology to find you, but don’t have other social technology, they are hiding something.
Don’t have a sexual relationship with anyone until you have met other people who know them. Sex is chemically bonding. Regardless how you feel about them before the fireworks, you will feel more compelled toward them afterward. It’s how the neurotransmitters in your brain work.You will be more susceptible to their lies once you’ve had sex with them which is why impostors will try to quickly sweep you off your feet. Too much, too fast is likely to be a con.
Remember that there are two sides to every story. People who parent children together, regardless of the fact that they are divorced, should get along with their ex. Not doing so should run up a red flag.
Not having a bond with parents is a pretty good indication that they are unable to bond, period. Even if a person suffered abuse, they will still feel a bond of love. While they may establish healthy boundaries, they will care about their parent’s well being. People who have no relationship with their parent are likely to be unable to bond. And they may cook up stories of abuse as a sympathy play to explain away their lack of caring.
Be mindful of the signs that people give off that indicate they have weak or non-existent emotional empathy. How do they treat the waiter? The valet? The cab driver? Have they engaged in any kind of activity for the betterment of others?
You can improve your safety in internet dating by being vigilant and recognizing that one out of 25 people are sociopaths and many more have sociopathic of character disordered traits. Don’t think falling into a predator’s path can’t happen to you.