FORT MYERS, Fla. One woman is working to make sure no one else goes through the ordeal she survived.
The woman, whose identity is being withheld for her protection, was sexually assaulted during her first online dating experience.
She met Mitchell Rice, 34, on the dating website Plenty O’ Fish last August. After a month of talking, he offered to take her to dinner and asked her to pick him up at his house.
“He talked a pretty good game,” she said.
Rice told the woman to drive to his cousin’s house. But when she parked the car, he held a gun to her head and demanded she get in the back seat.
Then he proceeded to rape her.
“I was trying not to look at him,” she said. “I was looking out the window.”
Although Rice walked away after, she reported what happened. Investigators later discovered he was wanted for another sexual assault in 2006.
“As women, they take us for granted,” the woman said. “They think we’re weak or not going to tell and we’re not going to come forward, and we need to. I’m sure there are girls that have been violated by this man. He’s done it twice.”
While the woman refuses to try online dating again, she wants others to heed her warning if they choose to meet a stranger.
“If you do it, do a background check, even if you have to pay for it,” she said. “It’s not worth your life because something worse could’ve happened.”
Rice was sentenced to three years in prison on Wednesday.
After completing his sentence, Rice will serve two years of probation and be required to register as a sex offender.