US man accused of raping and assaulting woman he met on Tinder, police seeking other potential victims


Ault was arrested March 13 after a woman he met on the dating app told officers Ault sexually assaulted her, according to court documents. — dpa

A 32-year-old man is accused of assaulting and raping a woman he met on Tinder last month at his northwest Spokane home, and police are looking to contact other potential victims.

Brian Ault was arrested March 13 after a woman he met on the dating app told officers Ault sexually assaulted her, according to court documents.

The woman said she agreed to meet Ault at his Crown Avenue residence to have sex, she told police. She said the encounter in his bedroom was initially consensual, but the “mood began to change” about 10 minutes in.

The woman said she wanted to tell him to stop because she was in pain but didn't know how. He then started to strangle her with her hair and his hands. She told police she was unable to tell him to stop because she was being strangled with enough pressure to see “stars” and prevent her from talking.

The sexual assault continued, and after she told Ault she had homework as an excuse to leave, police said.

A detective noted the woman’s injuries were consistent with being strangled, including bruising on the front of her throat and “petechial hemorrhaging” on her face, neck and inside the back of her throat, court records show. Bruising, swelling and red marks were visible on other parts of her body.

Ault told a detective he agreed to meet the woman for the first time to have sex after a week of communicating on Tinder and text messaging. Ault said he did not ask about choking before he did it and “never forced anything on her”. He maintained the encounter was consensual.

He told police he pulled her hair on both sides across her neck, lightly choking her. When she didn’t stop him, he pulled it harder across her neck, choking her with her own hair. He then lightly choked her with his hands, documents said.

Ault said he choked her for about 30 seconds and the woman did not say “no” or indicate she did not want him to do that. He said he uses the technique often with women and stops if he sees signs of it going too far.

Police said in documents that the woman’s injuries were not consistent with Ault’s description of “light” choking, and it was clear significant force was used for some period of time to cause her injuries.

Ault was charged with suspicion of second-degree rape and second-degree assault. Ault has appeared in Spokane County Superior Court and is scheduled for trial June 12. He was not listed in the Spokane County Jail roster Wednesday night.

Detectives believe Ault may have committed similar assaults, according to a Spokane Police Department news release.

They are looking to contact other potential victims of Ault or speak with anyone who has information of similar alleged crimes connected to him. – The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Wash./Tribune News Service

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