Bail increased for man held in rape after Tinder app date _lowres

Jacob Hirsch Witz

A court commissioner this week more than doubled the bail for a Baton Rouge man accused of raping a woman Saturday following a date arranged through a popular online application called Tinder.

The bail for Jacob Hirsch Witz, 22, was increased from $35,000 to $75,000, booking records show. He is being held in Parish Prison on a count of forcible rape and remained there Tuesday night in lieu of the new bail.

A court commissioner at the 19th Judicial District Court raised the bail amount after setting it at $35,000 on Saturday, said Hillar Moore III, East Baton Rouge Parish’s district attorney.

It was unclear what moved the commissioner, Nicole Robinson, to raise the bail. Her office declined to comment on Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies with the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office arrested Witz on Saturday after a woman reported that he raped her early Saturday morning at her Nicholson Drive apartment. The woman’s age was not released by the Sheriff’s Office to protect her identity, a Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman said.

The woman told detectives, according to a probable cause affidavit, that Witz raped her after the two met on Tinder, an online application that matches registered users who “like” each other’s profile pictures.

The woman told a detective Witz raped her then forced her to delete from her phone text messages exchanged between the two. He also forced her to take a bath while he watched, according to the affidavit.

A Tinder spokeswoman said it 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 spokeswoman, Rosette Pambakian, said in a statement.

“We are incredibly saddened to hear about this situation and our thoughts are with the victim,” Pambakian said.

Attempts since Sunday to reach someone to speak on Witz’s behalf have been unsuccessful.

Witz was enrolled as a student at LSU in the spring, a spokesman for the university said, although it was unclear whether Witz graduated. Enrollment data for the fall semester has not been finalized, and Witz was not enrolled at LSU this summer, spokesman Ernie Ballard said.

Follow Ben Wallace on Twitter @_BenWallace.