A San Diego man, arrested for alleged sexual assault and false imprisonment, is accused of finding his victim on a website used by foreign exchange students to practice the English language.
The suspect, Jason Mc Klevey, 31, was taken into custody by San Diego police on November 7.
Officers say they received a report October 26 accusing Mc Klevey of sexually assaulting a woman he had met through conversationexchange.com.
Foreign exchange students use the website to practice writing and speaking English, according to a police department news release.
Police said they believe Mc Klevey is specifically targeting Asian foreign exchange students.
Lt. Anastasia Smith said the suspect preyed on a victim through the website, allegedly assaulting her once they finally met in person.
"After conversing with him online for some time, the victim then agreed to meet Mc Kelvey in person and as a result of an encounter with him, she reported she was sexually assaulted,” explained Lt. Smith.
Investigators have released Mc Klevey’s photograph because they say he may have come in contact with other foreign exchange students at local San Diego colleges and universities and they want any other potential victims to come forward.
The new is frightening for University of San Diego foreign exchange student Yurie Suzuki.
She said she considered using the conversation website as a way to learn English.
“I thought it might be helpful and I thought it might be a good way to meet local people,” said Suzuki.
Ultimately, she decided against it, saying she was skeptical because the website was free, when most language assistance costs money.
Suzuki said she’s not surprised to hear someone could be taking advantage of unsuspecting students – especially given the language barrier.
“If your English is not especially good then it’s difficult to figure out if this person is serious or if this person is dangerous,” she added.
Police said Mc Klevey has been released for now, but the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information concerning this investigation is asked to contact the San Diego Police Department’s Sex Crimes Unit at (619) 531-2210 or San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.