Virginia Beach Police arrest Craigslist ad sexual assault suspect

Posted at 3:36 PM, Jul 15, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-15 17:49:58-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Police arrested a man accused of sexually assaulting a woman after she answered a Craigslist ad.

The victim wants to warn others about what happened and says she wishes she never responded to the ad.

“I told him to stop. I don't want to do it. He didn't listen to me and he grabbed me by the back of my head,” said the 18 year-old high school student, who we are not identifying.

She said the sexual assault occurred in April.

“There was just this look in his eye, kind of weird. I didn't understand it but I guess now I do,” said the victim.

Robert Cox, 31, is facing several charges including rape, sodomy and abduction by force.

The victim admits she responded to an ad on Craigslist for adult videos and went to a warehouse on Birdneck Road in Virginia Beach. The owner of the warehouse said Cox had been leasing a unit for the past six months.  The owner said he is disturbed by what the young woman is claiming and wishes he never rented the unit to Cox.

The 18-year-old, who she has aspirations of being a model, says she consented but then changed her mind.

“It started getting to a point where it was embarrassing and I didn't want to do it and make me feel bad,” she said.

She said she agreed to clean the warehouse instead, but then said she was attacked.

The victim was able to escape and called police, who arrested Cox.

Police warn the public that you are potentially at risk when responding to ads.

Detective Kristy Curtis with the Virginia Beach Police Department said, “The most important thing is to trust your instinct and trust your gut, if it doesn’t feel right then it’s not right.”

Virginia Beach Police sent us a list of tips for responding to ads online:

  • Take a screen shot of,  and print off the Craig’s List add to have for physical record in case the add is subsequently taken offline.
  • Block your phone number when responding to an add
  • Always tell a friend, and if someone can’t go with you be sure to keep someone apprised of where you will be and when you are done with whatever transaction you are doing.
  • Always meet in a neutral place
  • Take pictures of the location when you arrive (if you are unfamiliar with the location)
  • Ask for credentials, business license and/or health cards for applicable businesses
  • If anything seems shady at all, or something just doesn’t seem “right”, don’t do it!

As for the victim, she regrets responding to the ad online and now wants others to learn from her mistake.

“I just wish that I was smarter about it."

The Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said Cox was granted $10,000 bond, but he is not allowed to leave Virginia and must live at a specific address. The addressed listed is the same address of the warehouse; however, when News 3 talked to the employees and the owner of the warehouse, they said Cox has not been living there.  They said the unit has been leased to another person. Cox is expected in court for a preliminary hearing July 28.