Investigators Arrest 3 Men In MySpace Rape Case - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Investigators Arrest 3 Men In MySpace Rape Case

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MySpace is billed as a place for friends, but for a North County woman, danger was lurking online. She went to see someone she met there in real life, and says several men raped her. Now three people are in custody.

Twenty-one-year-old Brian Shippee of San Marcos is one of the men investigators say raped the 18-year-old woman. We found a caption on his MySpace account that read, "No means hell yeah". Vincent Barnett, Jr., 21, is also a suspect. He writes, ""I like to go out and party yeah I get a lil [sic] out of hand sometimes... I'm looking for a good girl that I can have fun with and not get tired of" on his MySpace page.

The sheriff's department says they served the arrest warrants for the two men Wednesday morning in San Marcos and Escondido. A third suspect, 20-year-old Robert Melgoza, was taken into custody in Phoenix, Arizona.

The arrests come more than 8 months after the woman first reported she was raped back in May 2008. The case was investigated by a joint local and federal task force on sexual assault.

"We took 8 months to do this investigation because during that time frame one of the suspects moved to Phoenix. The last two stayed here in the San Marcos area, but we had witnesses to interview," sheriff's department spokesperson Jan Caldwell said.

Meantime, the sheriff's department has a warning for anyone who meets anyone online.

"Make sure you meet in a public place. Take a friend with you. Be smart about this because time and time and time again we've heard about these sorts of incidents," Caldwell said.

On Vincent Barnett's MySpace page, he states he is a 2006 graduate of Mission Hills High School. Brian Shippee says he is currently in college.

The three suspects are expected to face felony sexual assault charges and are due in court on Friday.

The sheriff's department is looking for other potential victims. If you have information regarding these suspects or this case, please call the sheriff's department sexual assault unit at (858) 974-2496.

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