Police: Russian exchange student raped after responding to Craig - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Police: Russian exchange student raped after responding to Craigslist ad

Paul Shuler (Source Horry County Sheriffs Office) Paul Shuler (Source Horry County Sheriffs Office)
Source: WMBF News Source: WMBF News

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - A 20-year-old Russian exchange student in Myrtle Beach reported to police that after responding to Craigslist ad seeking models, she was handcuffed, raped, and threatened by a man who falsely identified himself as an immigration officer.

The woman met with 32-year-old Paul Joseph Shuler at the Hard Rock Café in Myrtle Beach on July 8, after he allegedly posted the ad seeking models, according to the Myrtle Beach Police Report. She agreed to meet him the following day for a photo shoot. 

The two met on Thursday July 9 and traveled to a hotel room on Shore Drive. Shuler asked to take pictures of her in a bathing suit, when the woman refused, he handcuffed her, falsely identified himself as an immigration agent, showed a badge, threatened her with deportation, and then raped her, according to police reports.

Afterward, he told her that his father was a chief of police, and that if she told anyone, his law enforcement friends would commit another act of sexual assault on her, the reports state.

After the woman reported the incident to the Myrtle Beach Police Department, Horry County detectives investigated and “quickly closed in on a dangerous predator,” according to Lt. Raul Denis.

The investigation revealed that the victim had bruising on her wrist that corroborated her story. Shuler was identified through video surveillance and the Vacation Rental company, a company for which he cleans on Saturdays, and through which he had a code to get in the door, according to arrest warrants.

Shuler was arrested without incident and transported to the Horry County Detention Center, where he remains incarcerated as of Monday afternoon. He is charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping, and records show bond has not yet been set.

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