A Springdale woman was sexually assaulted by a man she met on a dating website, according to court documents.
Alexander Nichols, 24, of Fayetteville, met the victim on a dating website called Meetme.com and got to know her through the website and text messages. On June 3, the victim invited Nichols over to her residence for dinner, court documents state.
The victim’s mother and sister were there and met Nichols. They all went inside to start getting dinner ready. The victim told police that once inside the kitchen, Nichols touched her inappropriately several times and kissed her. He tried to put his hands up her shirt and kept approaching, even after being pushed away, according to court documents.
While Nichols was eating, the victim went outside to her mother and sister and asked them to help her get Nichols away. The three of them made up an emergency to get him to leave, court documents state.
On June 12, police arrived at Nichols’ residence in the 2700 block of North Club Drive and took him to the Springdale Police Station, where he admitted to touching the victim inappropriately. He was arrested and booked into the Washington County Detention Center, according to court documents.
Lieutenant Derek Hudson with the Springdale Police Department said people need to be very cautious of online dating.
“Internet is a wonderful thing to educate yourself, to meet and do things,” Hudson said, “But you need to be very, very careful because you don’t know who is on the other side of the keyboard.”
He urged people to always meet a person you have talked with online in a public place like a restaurant. Hudson said that way if something goes bad, there are other people around to get help if needed.
Locals said they stay away from online dating sites, because of stories of sexual assaults and other crimes being committed.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea, because you don’t really know who the person is,” Alex Gonzalez said, “Also you don’t know anything about them, and you don’t know if the person is dangerous or not.”
“I don’t see how people could do that,” Skylar Smith said, “I would just be really scared.”
Nichols faces a charge of sexual assault – 2nd degree.