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An American accused of sexual assault who allegedly sent spine-tingling messages to his victim is in custody in France and awaits extradition proceedings, The Associated Press reported Tuesday. 

The three-year international manhunt finally ended in France, where Ian Thomas Cleary was detained last month as part of a police check, according to the AP, citing a prosecutor in Metz, France.

Cleary, a 31-year-old Saratoga, California, native, is accused of stalking a Gettysburg College student, who was 18 at the time, sneaking into her dorm and sexually assaulting her as she texted friends for help. 

That was in 2013, when Cleary was a 20-year-old student at the same college. For years, authorities failed to file charges and Cleary fled the country. 

‘THERE’S A REAL HUMAN COST’ AS COLLEGE RAPE SURVIVOR PUT HERSELF IN THE SPOTLIGHT FOR JUSTICE

In 2020, the survivor, Shannon Keeler, received a Facebook message saying, “So I raped you.”

That was followed by more creepy messages: “I’ll never do it to anyone ever again.”

“I need to hear your voice.”

“I’ll pray for you.”

Shannon Keeler headshot

Keeler, who came forward in 2021 to get justice for herself, told The Associated Press about the messages in a May 2021 report, which detailed the alleged attack. 

She reported the 2013 sexual assault to authorities the same day, met with police and underwent a rape exam. 

‘LAUGHING’ SUSPECT IN LSU ALLEGED RAPE RECORDS ATTACK: ‘THEY FINNA RAPE HER’

But no charges were filed. She went back to the authorities in 2020 armed with Cleary’s alleged messages, and pleaded with prosecutors to arrest him. 

It still wasn’t enough, so Keeler took matters into her own hands, and came forward as a fierce public face in the fight against on-campus sexual assaults. 

Gettysburg College

In addition to the Facebook messages, she saved dozens of social media and blog posts purportedly written by Cleary over the years in Europe and showed them to the AP in May 2021.

The next month, after the AP story was published, a new team of police and prosecutors secured a warrant that charged Cleary with the 2013 attack. 

EXCLUSIVE: RAPE SURVIVOR’S MOM ‘KNEW SOMETHING TERRIBLE HAPPENED’ AFTER LAST TEXT

But at that point, authorities lost track of him. 

“While I am moved to tears by this result, which I have waited for (for) over seven years, I am mindful that this moment came because I went public with my story, which no survivor should have to do in order to obtain justice,” Keeler told the AP in a June 29, 2021, report. 

Reasons College-Age Victims of Sexual Violence Often Do Not Report to Law Enforcement, according to a report by RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network),.

Keeler “had to push and push and put herself out there” while Cleary has “literally gone on with his life,” said Andrea Levy, Keeler’s attorney and the legal director for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Rape. 

“It’s hard to measure that impact on her as a human being [and on] her family, her partner,” Levy said last June. “There’s a cost. There’s a real human cost. It’s someone’s life.”

EVIDENCE LEAKS IN UNIVERSITY RAPE CASE TAKE ‘EMOTIONAL TOLL’ ON FAMILY AS DEFENSE DOUBTS CONVICTION

Keeler’s former lawyer, Laura Dunn, said in a statement, “Happy to announce that former client Shannon Keeler will have her chance at justice given the recent arrest of Ian Cleary in France.”

Sexual Violence Is More Prevalent at College, Compared to Other Crimes, according to a report by RAINN ((Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network),.

A 2019 survey by the Association of American Universities found that the rate of “nonconsensual sexual contact by physical force or inability to consent” was 13% for college students.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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