Metro-East News

Date set up via online app leads to intimidation charge

Charles W. Washington
Charles W. Washington

A Granite City man is accused of secretly recording a sex act between himself and another man he met via an online dating app and then threatening to show the video to his date’s family and friends if he didn’t get “large amounts” of money, Caseyville police said.

And investigators said the suspect had used this method many times before based on evidence found on his mobile device.

“If you have been victimized by the suspect in this case, contact your local law enforcement agency,” the Caseyville Police Department said in a news release.

Charles W. Washington, 27, was charged with intimidation, which is a felony. He was being held in the St. Clair County Jail on Saturday. While his bond was set at $40,000, a hold order was placed on him, meaning he could not be released immediately on bond.

The victim in the Caseyville case went to the police department on Thursday and reported what happened.

Washington was arrested later that day at a Caseyville motel. A search warrant was executed on his cellphone and the contents were used as evidence.

Mike Koziatek joined the Belleville News-Democrat in 1998 as an assistant editor and is now a reporter covering the Belleville area. He graduated from Marquette University in Milwaukee and grew up in St. Louis.