A victim of a violent sexual attack in Calgary is warning of the dangers of online dating.
It’s taken her nearly three months to work up the courage to speak out about her horrific ordeal. She says she’s lucky to be alive.
“I try not to think about it, but I think about it a lot,” the woman who can only be identified as “Rachel” told Global News.
Rachel’s real identity is protected by a court-imposed publication ban.
“I didn’t think that I was going to get away.”
At 47, Rachel went online in search of companionship. She met a man who appeared to have common interests and she was excited to meet him in person.
That decision will forever haunt her.
For 11 hours Rachel was held captive in a hotel room. She was beaten, burned and sexually assaulted.
She was only able to escape when her attacker left the room for a few minutes and she was able to make a run for it.
“My bruises are gone and I have a scar,” she said wiping away tears.
“What’s left inside is going to take a long time to heal.”
Vasilios “Billy” Georgopoulos, 37, is charged with sexual assault, forcible confinement, assault with a weapon, uttering threats and mischief.
Georgopoulos is out on bail, leaving Rachel constantly looking over her shoulder.
“I’m still not understanding how a judge could let him out.”
“Every day it goes through my head. There will be sometimes I just start crying and I don’t even know why,” she said.
Rachel said her attacker is still active on the dating site she met him on.
She hopes speaking out about this life-changing experience will help others to be vigilant when dating online.
“I don’t want to scare people away from dating sites but I am definitely scared from dating sites,” she said.
“I’m not going to go on any dating sites anymore.”