The victim of a violent sexual assault is speaking out, after police arrested the suspect on Wednesday.
The victim, Rand Snell of St. Petersburg, Florida, was sexually assaulted during a dating app hookup in January. Snell first spoke with News Channel 3 in April about this incident.
Months after the assault, Snell tells News Channel 3's Samantha Lomibao he is still dealing with the trauma from that horrific attack.
“My first thought was, people are going to be safe tonight. At least for tonight, he's going to be in jail, and he won't be abusing people," Snell said.
The suspect, Hakan Isik, 56, Desert Hot Springs, was placed under arrest Wednesday morning. Jail records show the suspect was booked into the John Benoit Detention Center in Indio at 3:30 p.m. He is being held on $55,000 bail.
Isik faces charges of Penetration with a foreign object, Sodomy, Elder Abuse, False Imprisonment, and Administer a drug to commit a felony.
Snell was relieved. Not just for himself, but for others knowing Isik is in police custody.
“There was a public safety issue with this particular person. He was clearly doing this to a lot of people, maybe not as clearly as he did to me, but there were a lot of people being hurt," Snell said.
Snell was visiting Palm Springs from Florida back in January. He started talking to Isik on a dating app, when Snell invited him to his hotel.
What was supposed to be a casual hookup, turned into a violent sexual assault.
Snell was drugged, raped and beaten for hours.
“In the moment, I froze, I went into a traumatic response. I was extremely high, I was traumatized that was being physically abused.”
After the attack, Snell says it didn’t end there
“He was very angry, very abusive, you know. Asked him to leave and he did not for several hours. When he did finally leave, I was I was in very bad shape physically," he explained.
Snell immediately contacted the police. After months of the investigation went by, Snell shared his story publicly with News Channel 3 and learned that he was not the only victim.
“I talked with someone earlier tonight [Wednesday] who was attacked by Isik about about a month ago," Snell explained. "Another case last week… So this is an ongoing thing. There are about six people that I'm aware of that he was with whom he hurt.”
Palm Springs Police say there were multiple accounts of other incidents with Isik, however, they couldn't establish crime on the other reports.
All of them terrorized by the same man.
“I've learned is that people are reluctant to come forward for a lot of reasons, but one is that they don't see results," Snell said.
"If you don't want to be in a situation and say, you don't want to be there and you're trapped in that situation-- that is sexual assault," he added. "And you have a right to punish somebody that does this to you.”
By share sharing his story, Snell hopes anyone who is a victim will speak out and know they’re not alone.
“Bad things happen. But that doesn't mean that you're a bad person. And it doesn't mean that you have to stay trapped and the traumatic experience that you had is a way to move out of it. And I encourage everyone to has been harmed to take those steps to heal," he said.