Police: Iowa State student raped 2 women he met on dating apps

Jona Shitaleni Paulus (COURTESY PHOTO)

AMES, Iowa (KCCI) - An Iowa State University graduate student has been charged with sexual abuse after raping two women he met on dating apps in the span of 24 hours, authorities said.

KCCI-TV reports that Jona Shitaleni Paulus, 33, of Ames, was taken to the Story County Jail, where he remains in lieu of $50,000 cash-only bail. He has been charged with third-degree sexual abuse - forcible rape.

The first victim called 911 in the early morning hours of April 6 saying she had been sexually assaulted at the defendant’s apartment, according to online court documents. The two met on Tinder and had been talking for a couple of weeks.

She told Paulus that she did not want to have sex with him, but he assaulted her anyway, a criminal complaint charges. She was able to escape and call 911.

Authorities noted in charging documents that the victim had bruising on her wrist and hands.

According to online court documents, Paulus admitted to a sex act occurring but indicated that it was consensual.

Later that night, Paulus met up with another woman he met on MeetMe, according to a search warrant. The victim repeatedly told Paulus to stop touching her, but he sexually assaulted her, too, police said.

The victim told police that Paulus took explicit photos of their encounter. She also said the defendant appeared to have numerous photos and videos that were sexual in nature on his cellphone, and that it appeared the woman in the images did not know they were being recorded.

Paulus, originally from Africa, is a graduate student at Iowa State University, according to the school’s website. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for 1 p.m. April 29 at the Story County Courthouse in Nevada.