3 charged after alleged Internet sex scam, armed robbery in Rock Hill

adys@heraldonline.comFebruary 18, 2013 

— Police have charged a woman and two men in an alleged Internet classified ad sex scam after a Lancaster man was the victim of an armed robbery Friday at an apartment in Rock Hill.

The victim, a 38-year-old man whose name was not released, flagged down a deputy after claiming that he met with a woman at the apartment after online conversations on Backpage.com, an Internet classified advertising site. The man agreed to pay $80 for the “special,” described in a Rock Hill Police Department report as “sexual cost.”

The man arrived at the apartment to meet the woman, went to the bathroom, then was robbed by two men at gunpoint as he left the bathroom, the report states. One of the men demanded the victim “look down” while the other searched his pockets.

The thieves took his wallet and iPhone - plus the $80 that was supposed to be for the “special” sex, then the victim was able to leave. He identified one of the three in a lineup and further investigation led to three arrests, including the woman he met at the apartment.

Charged, according to police and jail records, are:

Gabrielle Simone Priester, 21, of Rock Hill, with armed robbery, conspiracy, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, malicious injury and assault and battery. Priester is in the York County jail under $60,940 bond.

Phillip Anthony Johnson, 22; and Terell Samad Markett, 24; both of Rock Hill, are charged with armed robbery, conspiracy, and possession of a weapon during a violent crime. Markett’s bond was set at $110,000 and Johnson has no bond, jail records show.

The incident took place at 2071A McGee Road in Rock Hill, according to the police report. The report lists Priester and Johnson as residents of the apartment.

That address is in the Deerfield Run apartment complex. Officials with the rental company that manages Deerfield Run could not be reached Monday.

The apartment complex sits directly across India Hook Road from Ebinport Elementary School.

Backpage has a section marked “adult” that has subsections for escorts, strippers, and more.

Rock Hill Police spokesman Lt. Brad Redfearn urged people not to be victims of Internet scams, but declined further comment as the case remains under investigation.

Andrew Dys * 803-329-4065

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