Suspect in Gettysburg College rape case found in France

May 15 – In 2013, 18-year-old Gettysburg College student Shannon Keeler said she had been raped by a fellow student and collected evidence, including a rape kit.

Keeler said 20-year-old Thomas Cleary had been stalking her at a party and later broke into her dorm room and assaulted her while she texted friends for help, according to reports.

Keeler, for years, asked for charges to be filed to no avail.

In 2021, Cleary allegedly sent Facebook messages to Keeler that said, “So I raped you” and “I’ll never do it to anyone again” and “I need to hear your voice” and “I’ll pray for you,” according to reports.

At the time, an arrest warrant was out on Cleary, but he was nowhere to be found.

Until yesterday.

Cleary was found in France and taken into custody. He will be extradited to Adams County to face charges.

Attorney Clint Barkdoll said, “For whatever reason no charges were ever filed, even though there seemed to be a lot of corroborating evidence that she had been raped by a fellow student. Then she and her family engaged a private investigator. They spent years doing their own investigation and she found social media posts from this male rape suspect, one of which said ‘so I raped you.’ It made national stories. I mean, the press covered this. The district attorney in Adams County reopened the case, agreed to charge this guy and this was now about three years ago, but he’s been missing all this time. There’s been an arrest warrant. No knows what happened to him. Well, the story is this guy has been found picked up and arrested in France, and he will now be extradited to Adams County to face this rape charge from 2013. It is a really interesting case and it’s going to get a lot of attention. There’s a lot of local and national media following this case. So when he gets back here and goes to court, we certainly will be following that.”