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‘He’s hunting again’: Victims of convicted dating app harasser say he’s back – KSDK.com

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‘He’s hunting again’: Victims of convicted dating app harasser say he’s back – KSDK.com

“He’s hunting. He’s hunting again,” one victim said. “He’s back to his old ways again where he’s using fake phone numbers and fake profiles and trying to reach out.”

ST. LOUIS — WARNING: The content below may be graphic to some readers. Individual discretion is advised.

For the St. Louis women who were targeted by a notorious dating app harasser, what they went through is still a vivid memory three years later.

“He would describe in graphic detail his specific rape fantasies and how he’d carry them out and when and where,” said one victim, who asked not to be named.

“The threats were exceptionally detailed, about wanting to rape me,” said Angela Vories.

They’re among the numerous women who spoke to the I-Team about the actions of Robert Merkle, a former St. Louis resident who was convicted on six counts of harassment across four criminal cases, starting in 2017.

That year, the I-Team learned about 40 women around the area who said they received threatening text messages from Merkle, an IT engineer who had no criminal history at the time.

RELATED: Dating site stalker faces fresh charges

Merkle had no personal relationship with any of the victims. Court documents say he found some of them on dating apps and met others at networking events. From there, his victims say, his tactics involved changing phone numbers and contact methods frequently to evade blocks and prevent the women from tying the messages back to him.

“When you then find out that there are multiple restraining orders and he’s been arrested over and over,” said the victim who asked not to be named, “then you’re just terrified. I mean, just absolutely terrified, and it affects every single aspect of your life.”

Merkle was sent to prison in 2018 for a three-year sentence. He was released in October 2020 on parole.

RELATED: Dating site stalker headed to prison

The victims whose testimony put Merkle behind bars in the first place say that he is targeting them again.

“He’s hunting. He’s hunting again,” one victim said. “He’s back to his old ways again where he’s using fake phone numbers and fake profiles and trying to reach out.”

The previous victims, as well as women who had not been contacted by Merkle before his conviction, say that parole hasn’t slowed down the harassment.

In addition to victims in Missouri and Illinois, the I-Team uncovered …….

Source: https://www.ksdk.com/article/news/investigations/victims-of-convicted-dating-app-harasser-say-hes-back/63-9ca1a7b3-3d01-47ad-a72c-17447ad53e8d

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