Rape-for-hire plot leads to one arrest
A Hartselle man is in the Morgan County Jail after authorities say he attempted to hire an undercover detective to abduct and rape a Wisconsin woman.
Matthias Jacob Edward Mann, 22, was arrested Thursday at his family’s home in Hartselle. He faces charges of attempted coercion and enticement and attempted kidnapping, as well as soliciting someone to cross state lines to commit a sex act.
FBI agents were alerted of the incident by Detective Christian Berg of the Owatonna, Minnesota, Police Department. Berg is active on the social media messaging platform Kik in an undercover capacity as part of his law enforcement responsibilities.
According to a federal criminal complaint, on the afternoon of Dec. 29, Berg was monitoring the public Kik group Abduction and R@pe 3 — a group in which users describe various sexual fantasies; request the sexual assaults of others, with either a knowing or unknowing victim; and trade rape/sexual assault videos.
“Dylan H,” who authorities later identified as Mann, posted a message in the group: “Can anyone abduct and rape a b—- in Wisconsin?”
Berg said in an affidavit that he messaged Dylan H. and stated he was interested in assisting with the request. Berg said Dylan H. provided the name of a person he wanted abducted and raped.
Berg reported he received various photographs and a physical address of the proposed victim in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. He said Dylan H. described the victim as an ex-friend, requesting “the most brutal rape imaginable.”
Berg told Mann he lived in Minnesota. Mann asked how long it would take him to get to the victim and, during their conversations, allegedly agreed to pay Berg approximately $100 for gas money to travel to Wisconsin from Minnesota and approximately $2,000 once the abduction and rape had been completed.
Berg then began working with local authorities to ensure the safety of the victim, according to charging documents.
Berg and Mann spoke by phone Dec. 30, according to the complaint, and Mann “confirmed that his request to abduct and rape (the victim) was not a fantasy.” Mann said he wanted a video of the abduction and sexual assault to confirm that it had been carried out, according to the complaint.
Mann arranged for Berg to send the video to Mann’s family’s Hartselle home, noting that his family would not open it before he retrieved it, according to the complaint, and Mann used an online payment app to send $75 to Berg to cover the expenses. Law enforcement conducted physical surveillance of the house Tuesday and Wednesday and confirmed Mann’s vehicle was parked in the driveway.
According to court documents, during the course of the investigation, the victim recalled the name Matthias Mann and told Berg this was an individual the victim had met online and had conversations with on Twitter in the past, but that she had not actually met him in person.
Charging documents state Mann had previously been in communication with someone else about carrying out the crime.
Mann is being held in the Morgan County Jail.