One of the women who previously accused Paul M. Sweitzer of raping her is hoping he will have recovered from stab wound enough to show up in court later this month when she goes before a judge to ask for a court order to keep him from stalking her.
Sweitzer, 33, was hospitalized after he was stabbed Tuesday night in the backyard of his Fairview Heights home. Jason Seibel, of Swansea, was charged Wednesday with stabbing Sweitzer. Seibel is the boyfriend of another woman who said Sweitzer raped her in 2015.
According to court records, in 2008, Terra Johnson accused Sweitzer of following her home to Pontoon Beach from a bar, entering her home where her children were sleeping, beating and choking her, then raping her. She called police and gave them the license plate number of the truck that sped away from her house. The truck belonged to Sweitzer. Prosecutors declined to charge Sweitzer.
The Belleville News-Democrat has a policy of not identifying persons who claim to be victims of sexual assault without their consent. Johnson agreed to waive her anonymity and consent to an interview after she learned Sweitzer had been arrested for allegedly raping and beating another woman in Collinsville in 2009.
Johnson, 44, of O’Fallon, contacted the BND after reading that Sweitzer was stabbed, allegedly by Seibel, the boyfriend of another woman who accused Sweitzer of rape.
“I just feel like there is power in talking about it,” Johnson said Friday. “If all of his victims would come forward and talk about it, then maybe someone would do something.”
In 2008 after Johnson, the mother of four, was assaulted, she knew that Sweitzer knew her name and where she lived, so Johnson received an order of protection to keep Sweitzer away. She didn’t see him again until May 13, 2016, when she claims she saw him at her daughter’s O’Fallon elementary school. It was the first time she saw him since the night of the assault, she said.
She claims she saw him again parked in front of her house in O’Fallon several days later. On June 11, Johnson walked out of her front door and saw a black truck parked across the street. It was Sweitzer, she said.
“I felt very threatened and scared,” Johnson said. “I felt scared the entire day and had nightmares that night.”
Johnson once again asked for a court order to keep Sweitzer away from her. The court date is set for July 11.
Johnson said she knows Seibel’s girlfriend, who sent Johnson a Facebook message a year ago after being assaulted, asking if she was the woman in the Belleville News-Democrat series “Violation of Trust.” The series reported that seven in 10 rape suspects are not charged or prosecuted in Southwestern Illinois.
“I told her that I was and she said she had just been raped by Paul Sweitzer,” Johnson said. “ ... I just felt like I failed another victim. I just keep failing.”
Prosecutors declined to charge Sweitzer in that case. He was named by Swansea police in a search warrant, which is a public record.
The woman told police that on July 2, 2015, Seibel and Sweitzer came to the Caseyville bar where she worked. They stayed until 2 a.m., then they went to Seibel’s home. Seibel fell asleep in the van. The woman went to an upstairs bedroom in the 1600 block of Shobert Drive in Swansea when a man she thought was Seibel got into bed with her and began kissing her, fondling her, performing oral sex on her, then having intercourse with her. About 10 minutes into the act, the 29-year-old woman realized the man was not her boyfriend, but Sweitzer, and told him to stop.
“Upon realizing the man having sex with (the victim) was Sweitzer and not Seibel, (the victim) screamed and hit Sweitzer. (The victim) ran out of the house,” Swansea Detective Peter Wszalek stated in an affidavit for a search warrant for Sweitzer’s DNA.
Madison County prosecutors charged Sweitzer in the Collinsville case in 2009, but the victim was an undocumented immigrant who didn’t speak English. Prosecutors said there were discrepancies in her testimony, but proceeded with the trial, trying to convince the jury the victim was confused, but telling the truth.
During the trial, prosecutors offered Sweitzer a chance to plead guilty to aggravated battery and serve 18 months of weekends in the county jail. Sweitzer accepted. He has never been convicted of a sex crime.
Seibel remains in St. Clair County Jail in lieu of $500,000. He is charged with the attempted murder of Sweitzer. He is also charged with two counts of aggravated assault.
“This has changed my whole life. I work two jobs. I take care of my kids. I go to counseling. I don’t date anymore. It’s screwed me up,” Johnson said.