A Facebook friendship took a dark turn in late March, as a Georgia man has been arrested on charges of attempted rape and criminal confinement, according to multiple media reports.
Kung Bik Cem, a 19-year-old man from Tucker, Georgia, is also facing a misdemeanor charge for theft, per the Indianapolis Star.
According to prosecutors, Cem and a young woman began talking over Facebook, despite never having met. Over time, Cem became aggressive, telling the woman he wanted to ‘steal’ her and impregnate her so she would marry him, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. He later told police he believed they had an “online relationship,” according to RTV6.
The woman then told Cem she did not want to speak to him anymore, but he continued to message her. According to WTTV, Cem eventually followed her to a family wedding in Southport, Indiana, driving all the way from his college in Jacksonville, Florida. It is unclear how he discovered where the wedding was, as the woman later told police she ignored his calls and texts.
However, at the wedding, Cem reportedly sat next to the woman, managing to steal her phone during the ceremony in order to force her to come with him, per the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
The woman then agreed to get into Cem’s car in hopes of getting her phone back. Once she did so, he drove off with her, refusing to let her go because he “loved her and had to take her back to Georgia with him,” according to police records.
The pair made it as far as the highway, where the woman pulled on the steering wheel and put the car in park. Cem then pulled to the side of the road, and the woman was able to get the keys, which she threw out the window, per RTV6.
At that point, Cem refused to let her go and forced her into the backseat of the car so he could impregnate her, forcing her to marry him, according to police records.
An Indiana state trooper, responding to calls of a disturbance, pulled up next to the car and saw “a woman screaming and saw a man on top of a female,” he said later, per RTV6. Cem was attempting to rape the woman and both were partially undressed before the trooper, Joseph Malone, pulled Cem off her.
“My training kicked in, I just removed the situation, I neutralized the threat,” Malone told WTTV. “You could see the general relief coming off the lady’s face as he was in handcuffs.”
Cem allegedly told Malone that his behavior was “allowed and customary” in his culture, per RTV6. It was not clear what he meant by this statement.
Cem was arrested and later released on bail. He will face two felony and one misdemeanor charges. Cem was not charged, however with cyberstalking or making threatening messages online leading to feat of sexual battery, which is a felony in Indiana.
According to an academic study, nearly one in five Americans reports experiencing harassment online. It is unclear what percentage of harassment and threats online spill offline into communities.