Grand jurors indicted a Texas man on a forcible rape charge Wednesday for allegedly arranging a date with a Baton Rouge woman via the online site Tinder last summer and then raping her at her Nicholson Drive apartment.
Jacob Hirsch Witz, 23, 5526 Grand Lake St., Bellaire, Texas, faces a prison sentence of up to 40 years if he is convicted as charged. Witz remains http://theadvocate.com/home/11378052-125/police-reveal-a-sixth-shootinghttp://theadvocate.com/news/8548892-123/audit-says-sorrento-lacking-inhttp://www.wbrschools.net/http://theadvocate.com/features/people/9420333-123/wirts-smith-biography-a-greathttp://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/david-frickes-year-in-rock-shows-albums-and-memories-from-2014-20150109?page=2http://theadvocate.com/features/people/9420333-123/wirts-smith-biography-a-greathttp://theadvocate.com/news/11386594-123/noted-for-landmarks-across-southmailto:Smiley%40theadvocate.com?subject=http://theadvocate.com/home/9852778-125/bail-increased-for-man-held">free on bond.
Witz’s attorney, Robby Gill, said his client is “definitely innocent of this charge.”
“There’s no doubt it was consensual sex that took place,” Gill said.
East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said his office is prepared to take the case to trial.
The woman told sheriff’s detectives, according to a probable cause affidavit, that Witz — whom she knew only as “Jake” — raped her July 26 after the two met on Tinder, an online social media site that matches registered users who “like” each other’s profile pictures.
Witz then forced her to delete from her cellphone all text messages exchanged between the two, and also forced her to take a bath while he watched, the woman told detectives.
After Witz’s arrest, a company spokeswoman said Tinder was incredibly saddened to hear about the situation and said its thoughts were with the victim.
Rosette Pambakian, the spokeswoman, said Tinder advises users through its website “to practice discretion when making the decision to meet outside of the app.” The suggestions include meeting in public places and letting a friend know about any meetings.
The alleged rape victim told East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s detectives that she and Witz arranged to meet at her apartment, where the casual encounter turned violent, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The woman told a detective that she and Witz talked on a couch for some time before moving the conversation to a bedroom.
There, the two kissed a few times before Witz became aggressive and suddenly pulled her shorts off, the affidavit says.
The woman accused Witz of slapping her in the face, tearing her clothes and raping her as she begged him to stop, the affidavit states.
Just before leaving her apartment, the woman told a detective, Witz informed her to: “Pretend this did not happen. Don’t tell anybody. I did not rape you. I got to get out of here.”
Witz lived at the Southgate Apartments on Nicholson at the time.
His case has been assigned to state District Judge Richard Anderson.