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Volunteers Create Brigade to Shovel Milford Sidewalks


Milford, like towns across the state, has been dealing with a massive amount of snow since last weekend.

To make more progress, local Milford volunteers are organizing a city-wide shovel brigade to help neighbors clear residential sidewalks.

They are asking all able-bodied men and women willing to volunteer to shovel to meet at 9 a.m. on Friday behind the Milford Public Library at the Fowler Field parking lot with their shovels.

Maps of areas needing clearing will be distributed to volunteer teams.

Volunteers from Milford’s police, fire and other city departments, as well as local Boy Scout, local sports teams, and community organizations will be on hand.

For more information, call Steve Johnson at (203) 804-3604 or e-mail skjohnson076@gmail.com.

Photo Credit: Audrey Washington, NBC Connecticut

Off-Duty Torrington Cop Charged With Operating Under the Influence


A Torrington police officer has been charged with operating under the influence after going off the road and into a snow bank in town.

Police responded to a one-car crash in the 600 block of New Harwinton Road in Torrington just before 1:30 a.m. on Tuesday after Matthew Gonska’s car went off the road and hit a snow bank, police said.

Gonska, 32, of Torrington, has been a police officer with the Torrington Police Department since August 2010. He was in his personal vehicle and off-duty at the time of the crash, police said. 

Police conducted field sobriety tests on Gonska and charged him with operating under the influence and traveling too fast, police said.   

He will be arraigned on Feb. 25 in Bantam Court. 

Gonska caused minor damage to his vehicle, but no one in the car was injured, police said. 

He was initially placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of a criminal and internal investigation and has returned to work on administrative duty.

Thousands Rally in Hartford for Changes in Gun Laws


Thousands attended a rally outside the State Capitol in Hartford Thursday to support a change in gun laws.

The event, called a March for Change, coincided with the two-month anniversary of the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Wearing green and white, people in attendance said they want a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

"Never should she have been faced with a gun," said Donna Soto, whose daughter, Victoria Soto, was killed at Sandy Hook Elementary School. "I think we owe it to Vicki. I think we, as a family, ow it to Vicki so that she didn't die in vain."

Capitol Police estimated about 5,500 people participated in the rally. Gov. Dannel Malloy was among the speakers at the event.

"What are we going to do to protect our children now that they're under open attack?" Malloy asked.

The March for Change movement was started by to mothers from Fairfield in the days after the Dec. 14 shootings at Sandy Hook that left 20 children and 6 educators dead.

Last month, hundreds of gun advocates spoke at a legislative hearing in favor of the rights of gun owners. The gun rights advocates said new gun laws will not make people safer, a notion with which attendees at Thursday's rally did not agree.

"How could anyone think that my son or anyone whose lives were stolen that day, were so disposable that it is acceptable to do nothing," said Veronique Pozner, whose son, Noah, was a first-grader killed in the tragedy in Newtown.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Jeff Saperstone

Christopher Dorner's Remains Positively ID'd


The charred remains of a body found in a cabin burned after a gunfight in San Bernardino Mountains have been identified as those of Christopher Dorner, the fugitive ex-police officer whose alleged revenge-fueled killing spree caused anxiety among authorities and the public across Southern California.

The San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department announced the positive identification on Thursday afternoon, two days after the remains were found in a cabin near the ski resort town of Big Bear.

"During the autopsy, positive identification was made through dental examination," the department said in a news release.

The department planned a news conference for 4 p.m. Friday.

A former Los Angeles Police Department officer, Dorner was the subject of an extensive manhunt after he allegedly shot three people and threatened to kill police officers.

More than 500 rounds were exchanged in a firefight that took place at the cabin in the unincorporated Seven Oaks area on Tuesday afternoon. Dorner had retreated on foot to the cabin after his was spotted by a state wildlife officer who exchanged gunfire with the suspect on a mountain roadway.

A gunfight with San Bernardino County deputies who responded to a call for backup left Detective Jeremiah MacKay dead and another county deputy sheriff seriously injured. The shooting of MacKay brought the number of deaths associated with Dorner to four.

The remote cabin was soon surrounded by law enforcement officers, who began collapsing the structure's walls with an armored vehicle, then fired tear gas canisters into the structure.

Part of a collection of aged vacation rental structures, the cabin caught on fire. A source told NBC4 a single gunshot was heard from inside the cabin before the flames engulfed the structure.

The search for Dorner had turned to Big Bear after the suspect's burned truck was found in Big Bear on Feb. 7 -- hours after he allegedly shot at two LAPD officers in Corona and then soon after, fired on two Riverside Police Department officers, killing Officer Michael Crain.

Dorner, 33, was first sought by police after he became the suspect in the fatal shooting Feb. 3 of Keith Lawrence and his fiancée Monica Quan. An assistant basketball coach at California State University Fullerton, Quan was the daughter of a former LAPD captain who was targeted by Dorner in an 11,400-word angry manifesto that police said he published online.

The killing of Quan and Lawrence began a shooting spree and manhunt that led authorities to the Big Bear area, where Dorner is believed to have hidden in a condominium complex just a few hundred yards from a command post set up to search for him.

A couple who owned the complex on Wednesday night described being tied up by Dorner, saying he told them he did not want to harm them and only wanted his name cleared.

His manifesto described his firing from the LAPD in 2008 after he was found to have falsely reported a fellow officer for excessive use of force against a suspect. Dorner called the LAPD a racist organization and promised to kill officers, naming names of those he planned to target.

A former lieutenant and reservist in the U.S. Navy, Dorner's attitude toward the LAPD generated sympathy from some online who expressed anti-police opinions, often agreeing with Dorner's assessment that the Los Angeles Police Department had failed to change since scandals in the 1990s.

Others gave little credence to Dorner's manifesto, saying it showed him to be a mentally ill individual bent on destruction and personal revenge.


Police Seize Weapons from Suspected Drug Dealer


Members of the Hartford Shooting Task force confiscated an assault-style rifle and other weapons from a convicted drug dealer during a traffic stop.

Jorge Marrero, 28, of Hartford, was arraigned on numerous weapons charges in Hartford Superior Court Thursday afternoon.

Court documents show police received a tip from a confidential informant that Marrero was dealing drugs out of the back of his Sigourney Street apartment building and that he was in possession of several weapons.

The task force set up surveillance near Marrero's home on Wednesday.

Undercover officers watched Marrero make drug deals out back, followed him, and pulled him over at Woodland and Niles Streets, according to court documents.

Marrero was shaking, appeared nervous, and admitted having a Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle, a shotgun, and a revolver in a duffel bag in the backseat, according to court records. He told police he wanted to sell the weapons for quick cash, the records state.

Marrero has past felony convictions for burglary, robbery, and selling drugs, according to court officials.  He was on probation at the time of this latest arrest.

"We moved in on him when we had the opportunity," said Sgt. Winston G. Brooks, who is a member of the shooting task force.  

"You got a convicted felon with a past history of very violent crimes. To be in possession of those type of weapons poses a serious safety concern in the city so to get those weapons off the street is a big bonus for us," Brooks said.

Marrero is charged with possession of an assault weapon, criminal possession of a pistol, criminal possession of a firearm, and having weapons in a vehicle.

Marrero's bond was set at $750,000.

Photo Credit: Hartford Police

Police Chief Recalls "Dorner That I Knew"


The last few weeks for La Palma Police Chief Eric Nunez have been tense. He and his family endured 24-hour protection after being mentioned in Christopher Dorner's manifesto.

Though Dorner praised Nunez, the possibility that the fugitive ex-police officer would reach out to him amid the massive manhunt was ominous.

"My wife was obviously very worried,” Nunez said. “I tried to convince her that it is very unlikely that we would have any contact, but we did make a plan."

In an 11,400-word document published online, Dorner wrote this about Nunez: "You're just an awesome person and my first exposure to what law enforcement was really about."

Nunez said he was “reeling” trying to make sense of Dorner’s alleged rampage that left four dead, including two law enforcement officials and a newly engaged couple.

Nunez said Dorner was part of the department's police explorer volunteer program while at Kennedy High School and that he would visit once a year.

"The Chris Dorner that I knew back when he was an explorer here and going through college then going through the Navy wouldn't have done the horrendous acts that he did, would not have been the cold-blooded calculated murderer," Nunez said.

Nunez explained that he had not heard from Dorner for two years until a package was dropped off at his office on Jan. 23. It contained a note explaining that Dorner did not lie during the investigation that led to his dismissal from the LAPD and a video of one of the interrogations.

"I barely had some inclination that he had been terminated or that he was no longer with LAPD but I had no context of the nature of that investigation was or anything," Nunez said.

"I really didn't even know what this was actually about until I read the manifesto," he added.

He said he first read the manifesto when members of the Irvine Police Department arrived to his offices asking him about Dorner. Detectives were investigating the deaths of newly engaged couple Keith Lawrence and Monica Quan, the daughter of a former LAPD captain targeted in Dorner’s manifesto.

"It’s unfathomable. Even the first call that I got telling me that I was named in this manifesto and they wanted to talk to me about it and they told me who their suspect is, the Irvine Police Department, and my head is reeling because I am thinking how is that even possible?" Nunez said.

He turned over the package and its contents to the investigators.

Days after Nunez received the package, Dorner allegedly went on a shooting spree that killed Riverside police Officer Michael Crain. Nunez went to Crain’s funeral and, like the entire Southland law enforcement community, is now mourning the loss of two brothers.

San Bernandino Sheriff Detective Jeremiah MacKay was killed this week in a final gun battle with Dorner before the 33-year old ex-LAPD officer died in a burning cabin in which he barricaded himself.

Two other members of law enforcement were wounded.

But what sets Nunez apart is his connection to Dorner.

"Whatever relief you might feel was mode with deep sadness that came at the cost of another officer’s life," he said "Everybody that has been touched by this is trying to figure out what went wrong."

NASCAR Honors Sandy Hook at Daytona 500


NASCAR will be honoring Newtown during Daytona 500 at the end of the month with a green and white car and soliciting donations to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund.

Michael Waltrip, a two-time winner of the Daytona 500, will be behind the wheel of Swan Racing's car 30, which will carry the number 26, in honor of the 26 victims of the school shooting.

The hood carries a green and white memorial ribbon
on the hood and decals on the sides of the car will carry instructions on how NASCAR fans can make a $10 donation to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund by texting NEWTOWN TO 80888.

Twenty first graders and six staff members were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School two months ago on Dec. 14.

NASCAR made the public announcement about car 26 today.

“Driving the No. 26 Sandy Hook School Support Fund Toyota is like nothing I have ever been part of in my NASCAR career," Waltrip said in an article posted on nascar.com. "It will be an emotional week knowing that we have the potential to do so much good for the Newtown community. I’m racing for a reason."

NASCAR president Mike Helton has a personal connection to Newtown through a friend’s son whose family knew many victims and their families, according to NASCAR.com.



Photo Credit: Getty Images

Volunteer Firefighters Charged With Sex Assault of Teens


Coventry police have arrested two volunteer firefighters accused of having sexual relations with members of the junior firefighter program, which is for teens between 14 and 17 years old.

Police have charged Joseph Michael Carilli, 55 of Coventry, the department’s training officer, with sexual assault in the second degree and risk of injury to a minor. Joe Fragoso, 35 of Coventry, a second lieutenant, was charged with second-degree sexual assault.

Police said the investigation revealed that both subjects had been having sexual relations with members of the CVFA Junior Firefighter program, where 14-to-17-year-old teens participate in training, emergency calls and public education.

Police said the firefighters turned themselves in at the Coventry Police Department after learning that there were warrants for their arrest.

Carilli was chief of that department from June 2006 to November 30, 2012 and then became the department’s training officer. He spent time in prison in the 1980s for having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl when he was 24.

Fragoso has been a fire lieutenant at that department since June 2012.

Police said the current leadership of the Coventry Volunteer Fire Association has cooperated with the police investigation.

Police ask anyone with further information to call 860-742-7331 and speak with Sgt. Michael McDonagh or Detective Michael Hicks.

The court set Carilli’s bond at $500,000 and he will be arraigned at Rockville Superior Court today.
Joe Fragoso, of Coventry, has been charged with sexual assault in the second degree. The court set the bond of $250,000. He was released after posting a surety bond and is due in Rockville Superior Court on Feb. 27.

Ex-San Diego Mayor Lost Up to $1B in Gambling Winnings


Former San Diego Mayor Maureen O'Connor won and lost more than $1 billion while gambling over a nine-year period, according to her attorney.  

The widow of Jack-in-the-Box fast food restaurant founder Robert O. Peterson squandered away her fortune on a video poker habit, attorney Eugene Iredale said.

The revelation was made Thursday outside a federal courthouse in San Diego where O'Connor faces one charge of misusing millions from a charity set up by her late husband.

The former mayor's eyes filled with tears and she answered questions haltingly as she pleaded not guilty to a money laundering charge.

According to her attorney, O'Connor has had severe health problems for several years including a brain tumor which he blamed for a gambling habit.

The 66-year-old, whose estate was at one time worth $40 to $50 million on paper, spent every last dime she had gambling, Iredale said.

Iredale said his client won and lost more than $1 billion playing video poker in Las Vegas, Atlantic City and San Diego. 

Between Sept. 2008 and March 2009, O'Connor allegedly took more than $2,088,000 from the foundation.

"A sum of money which she intended to repay but was unable to repay,” Iredale said.

The money was earmarked for charitable purposes but was used for other purposes he said.

Prosecutors said O'Connor "deprived the Foundation of its remaining assets and left it completely bankrupt."

O'Connor's entrance into the federal courthouse Thursday morning was unsteady.

Using a cane and answering haltingly, O’Connor appeared as a hollow shell of what she once was.

She pleaded not guilty and was put on supervised pre-trial status.

Her medical condition is such that she will not be booked immediately. Because she is under medical care of a physician, she’ll be booked Friday.

She was granted two years of deferred prosecution.

O'Connor (pictured left in 2000) served as San Diego's mayor from 1986 to 1992. She also served on the San Diego City Council and the port commission.

O'Connor was married to Peterson from 1977 until his death in 1994.

After court, O’Connor spoke to members of the media - many who covered her during her tenure as mayor.

She explained how there are essentially two Maureens.

“Maureen #2 is the woman who did not know she had a tumor growing in her head, in her brain,” she said.

She used the word "borrowed" when she spoke of the $2 million she's accused of misusing and said it occurred during a difficult time in her life.

“Those of you who know me here would know that I never meant to hurt the city that I loved,” she said. 

Photo Credit: NBC 7 San Diego

Coventry Suspends Junior Firefighter Program Amid Sex Investigation


The day after Coventry police arrested two volunteer firefighters accused of having sexual relations with members of the junior firefighter program, the fire association is temporarily suspending the program for teens between 14 and 17 years old.

Police charged Joseph Michael Carilli, 55 of Coventry, the department’s training officer, with sexual assault in the second degree and risk of injury to a minor. Joe Fragoso, 35 of Coventry, a second lieutenant, was charged with second-degree sexual assault.

"As a family, CVFA (the Coventry Volunteer Fire Association) is greatly hurt by recent events, we remain committed to working hard to provide fire protection and emergency medical services to our community. We ask for your continued support for our crews in the field providing emergency services," a statement from the fire association says. 

Police said their investigation revealed that Carilli and Fragoso had been having sexual relations with members of the CVFA Junior Firefighter program, where 14-to-17-year-old teens participate in training, emergency calls and public education.

The junior firefighting program is suspended so the fire department can review "related policies and procedures."

"These are difficult times for all involved. We appreciate your patience and continue to work diligently to service the Town's emergency services needs," the statement says.

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Rte. 9 South Closed at Exit 1, Old Saybrook


Route 9 South is closed at exit 1 in Old Saybrook after a trailer of a tandem tractor-trailer rolled over at the entrance to Interstate 95 North.

Cars will not be able to get on I-95 North while crews turn the truck upright.

No injuries are reported. Police said the road should be clear in around half an hour, or around 11 a.m.

Photo Credit: Connecticut DOT Traffic Cameras

Head to Lyman Orchards for Winterfest, Easter Hunt


Instead of hunting for eggs, why not hunt for apples this Easter?

Easter falls on Sunday, March 31 and Lyman Orchards in Middlefield is hosting an Easter Apple Hunt on Saturday, March 23, with a rain date on Saturday, March 30.

Children, ages 1 to 10, can search for hidden apples in Lyman’s Easter Hay Maze and visit with the Easter bunny.

There will be a free magic show, pony rides or a ride in a horse-drawn wagon.

Online registrations for the Apple Hunt start this month. 

If you are looking for an excuse to head to Lyman Orchards earlier, head to Winterfest on Feb. 23 and 24, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., for the snowboarding and tubing park, Husky sled dogs, ice-carving demos and more.


Photo Credit: Visit New Haven

MDC Announces Openings and Closings After Storm


A week after the Blizzard of 2013, the West Hartford Reservoir remains closed because of snow, but the reservoir in Bloomfield and the boat launch have reopened.

If you were hoping to get out for a hike or walk, you’ll have to avoid the Metropolitan District’s Reservoir at 1420 Farmington Ave. in West Hartford until further notice. 

The area is unsafe because of ongoing snow removal and cleanup, according to the MDC.

However, the Goodwin Dam-West Branch Reservoir in Hartland has re-opened and Reservoir #6 in Bloomfield is once again open, but access at the Bloomfield reservoir is restricted to the parking lot and paved sections of the facility, as other sections have not been cleared of snow and debris from the storm.

For continued updates, visit the MDC website at www.themdc.com


Photo Credit: Getty Images

WATCH: Exploding Meteorite Lights Up Russian Sky


People in the Ural Mountains region of Central Russia woke up Friday to a meteorite streaking across the sky, exploding with a brilliant blast of light and sending powerful shock waves that shattered windows, damaged a factory's roof and hurt hundreds.

The meteorite appeared to be the largest recorded object to hit the earth since 1908, an astronomer told Nature.

The event was caught on video by dozens of witnesses in Chelyabinsk who documented what appeared to be the meteorite's arrival in the lower atmosphere, lighting up the dawn, and leaving massive trails of smoke.

Then, as they gazed up in wonder, the blasts came—first one big one, then smaller ones. Glass smashed, car alarms began bleating, and people streamed out of buildings, trying to figure out what was going on.

Hundreds of people were reportedly hurt, most of them suffering minor injuries as a result of the breaking glass. The roof of a zinc factory was reportedly damaged, but did not collapse.

A sampling of purported footage of the event from YouTube:

In this video, taken from a camera inside a car, the driver listens to the radio when a flare appears on the horizon, then burns brighter as it zooms overhead.


This view shows the meteor brighten an otherwise calm, pre-dawn sky.


A driver documents the aftermath at a Zinc factory and the trail of smoke overhead.


From inside the building, a witness looks up at the trails of smoke, then the shocks rock the air, breaking the window.


A similar perspective, only from outside a building.


Another witness films the blasts and their aftermath and joins the evacuation of buildings.


Local news coverage describes "burning objects raining down from the sky." 


An amateur compilation of witness footage.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Charges Filed Against Jesse Jackson Jr.


Federal officials filed charges Friday against Jesse Jackson Jr. after the former congressman reportedly signed a plea deal for allegedly improperly spending hundreds of thousands in campaign funds.

The paperwork was filed at the U.S District Courthouse in Washington. Jackson, who left the public eye last summer for treatment of bi-polar disorder and resigned from office in November, is not expected to make an appearance, but he offered a response in his first statement to the public in months.


“Over the course of my life I have come to realize that none of us are immune from our share of shortcomings and human frailties," Jackson said in the statement released by the attorneys representing him in the federal probe.

"Still I offer no excuses for my conduct and I fully accept my responsibility for the improper decisions and mistakes I have made," he said. "To that end I want to offer my sincerest apologies to my family, my friends and all of my supporters for my errors in judgment and while my journey is not yet complete, it is my hope that I am remembered for the things that I did right.”

Among the items that Jackson is accused of purchasing with campaign funds: 

$10,000 worth of Bruce Lee Memorabilia. More than $20,000 in Michael Jackson memborabilia. Thousands on Martin Luther King Memorabilia. Fur coats and capes and more. 

Ward Room reported last week that Jackson will plead guilty as part of his plea deal, and jail time would be in the hands of a federal judge who has not yet been assigned. Converting campaign contributions for personal use is strictly prohibited by federal law and opens Jackson up to “not more than 5 years” in prison. 

Prosecutors will recommend a prison sentence for between 46 and 57 months plus fines, according to reports.

Jackson's wife, former Chicago Ald. Sandi Jackson, has also been charged with falsifying her tax returns and reporting less income than she made.


Sandi Jackson has pleaded guilty to the tax offense, according to her attorney Tom Kirsch. The single charge carries a maximum prison sentence of 3 years, but Kirsh said the plea agreement calls for significantly less time. 

"Today, Sandi Jackson reached an agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to plead guilty to one count of tax fraud," reads a statement from her attorneys. "Ms. Jackson has accepted responsibility for her conduct, is deeply sorry for her actions, and looks forward to putting this matter behind her and her family. She is thankful for the support of her family and friends during this very difficult time."

Per the reported plea deal for Jackson Jr., he must repay the government hundreds of thousands of dollars for items such as a $40,000 Rolex watch, travel expenses for a woman he described as a “social acquaintance” and furniture purchased for his home.

Sandi Jackson resigned last month from her elected position as Chicago’s 7th Ward alderman. For years she received a $5,000 a month check from her husband as his political consultant.

Jackson Jr., the son of famous civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, has been the subject of a federal investigation into potential misuse of campaign funds since around the time he left office to seek medical treatment on June 10, 2012.

Surgery Doesn't Stop Couple's Wedding Day


Some people really mean it when they say “in sickness and in health” in their wedding vows.

Jonathan Peak and Nicole Veil didn't let surgery stand in the way of their nuptials. The couple from Hartford got married at the UConn Health Center in Farmington on Friday.

“I had a nodule removed from my right lung,” said Peak.

While that procedure would have derailed most couples’ wedding day, this pair decided to go ahead as planned and tie the knot at the hospital.

“People thought, ‘won’t you change the date?’ But, we didn’t let anything hinder us. We stuck with the date, and here I am getting married at UConn,” Peak said.

“His health is the most important thing and that’s basically what we wanted to do,” said Veil.

Peak and Veil have seen their share of struggle. They were together about a decade ago, had three children, but then separated, before eventually getting back together.

“We’ve been together four years, separated, and now we’ve rekindled our relationship,” said Peak.

After the ceremony, the happy couple made their way to their reception, complete with catered food and cake. Peak said he was honored to share his big day surrounded by those who helped save his life.

“I have the people here that have been in my corner -- the doctors,” he said.

After the groom recovers, the pair plan to have their honeymoon someplace where they can relax and have enjoy themselves.  

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut/Stephania Jimenez

Crews Respond to Rollover Crash in New Britain


The left and center lanes of Route 72 eastbound in New Britain are closed between exits 7 and 8 after a vehicle rolled over.

There is also a one-car crash on Route 72 westbound at the exit 6 ramp.

Several crews are responding to the scene.

If you have to travel in this area, use Routes 71 or 9 as an alternate.

View Larger Map

New Haven Takes Back February Vacation


Students in New Haven will miss their February vacation after spending a week out of school due to the Blizzard of 2013.

School administrators decided to take back the vacation because the district has used up its scheduled snow days.

"Not knowing what weather would bring for the rest of the year, you don’t want to put all your eggs in the back-of-the-year basket, so we thought it was important to try to take some days back immediately," said Will Clark, Chief Operating Officer for New Haven Public Schools.

By law, schools cannot be in session past June 30.

Not all parents and students are happy with the decision. An online petition was started to urge New Haven schools not to cancel February vacation, because students need a break, and some families already had plans.
"Folks who have pre-planned vacations and so forth, we will excuse those absences," said Clark.
But most parents do seem happy with the modified schedule, saying the students need to be back in class.
"I want them back in school. They already had eight days off, so it’s good for them. They have to learn," said Adriana Valencia, a parent with two children in the New Haven school system.

Students will be off Monday for Presidents Day, but will be back in class on Tuesday.

Photo Credit: NBC Connecticut

Rape Suspect Met Victim on Christian Dating Website: Cops


Police arrested a California man accused of raping a woman he met on a Christian online dating website.

Sean Banks, 37, of Del Mar, Calif. has been known to use other aliases online including Rarity, Rylan, Rylan Butterwood and Rylan Harbough.

Banks is accused of raping a woman he met on the website Christianmingle.com officials said.

The woman told police after Banks arrived to her home in La Mesa, he was sexually aggressive toward her and ultimately raped her.

“This was the first time she met him face-to-face,” said La Mesa PD Officer Matt Nicholass.

He said that the woman felt comfortable with the individual coming to her house and it was only until he was inside the home that he became forceful.

The incident occurred in November 2012. Banks was arrested by La Mesa police on Feb. 11.

Banks was booked on a number of charges including rape by force, digital penetration by force and residential burglary.

When contacted by NBC 7 San Diego, the dating website said they have reached out to the La Mesa police department and are willing to assist in the investigation in any way they can.

"The safety and security of our members is of critical importance to us," said spokesperson Arielle Schechtman. "We take tremendous precautions to protect the safety and privacy of our community members."

She said the website has profile review experts who manually review all profile text and photos submitted by members.

"We have also developed several proprietary, automated tools to help identify questionable profiles and to eliminate fraudulent activity in our communities," she said.

Now detectives are asking for the public’s help. They are concerned Banks may have been using other names and may have more victims.

Banks has moved around the country so investigators are concerned there may be victims outside of San Diego County and perhaps California.

The suspect may have been working on other websites.

Anyone with information can call La Mesa Police at (619) 667-1400.

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