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Utah man charged with raping girl he met during internet challenge

A man who police say met a teen girl through the “text your number neighbor challenge” is now charged with rape.
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SALT LAKE CITY — A man who police say met a teen girl through the “text your number neighbor challenge” is now charged with rape.

Issac Francisco Alonso, 19, of Gunnison, was charged in Sanpete County’s 6th District Court with rape, a first-degree felony, and obstructing justice, a second-degree felony. He is scheduled to be back in court on Oct. 2.

According to a Sanpete County Jail booking affidavit, Alonso contacted the victim’s father because of the “number neighbor” challenge.

The challenge, which became the latest viral internet craze in early August, involves sending a text to a phone number that is just one number off from the sender’s phone number.

The 16-year-old girl’s father asked his daughter to explain what the challenge was. While explaining it, she texted Alonso, and learned the two had friends in common, the affidavit states.

“Victim continued to message Alonso on (her father’s) phone and later used her own phone to communicate with Alonso via text, call and Snapchat,” according to the report.

On Aug. 8, Alonso called the girl and asked if she wanted to go to the convenience store with him to get a drink and talk, the report states.

Instead, Alonso drove the girl in the hills east of Ephraim and tried to kiss her, prompting the girl to say ‘No,’ according to the report. As they continued driving, the girl continued texting a friend a couple of times.

“The victim texts her friend again stating, ‘Call me, I think I’m about to get raped,’” the report states.

Alonso then parked his car, took the girl’s phone, forced her into the back seat and raped her, according to the report.

After, Alonso drove the girl home.

“The victim asked Alonso, ‘How many people have you done this to?’ Alonso replied, ‘Don’t ask questions you don’t want the answers to,’” the report states.

The girl went inside her house crying, prompting the father to call Alonso.

“What did you do to my daughter?” the father confronted Alonso on the phone, according to the report.

The father also noticed marks around his daughter’s neck as if she had been strangled, the report states.

“Alonso asked to talk to the victim in private. (The father) replied, ‘Absolutely not, anything you have to say you can say to me. The victim was put on the line, on speaker phone, and Alonso proceeded to say he was on probation and that if the cops were called he’d go to jail until he was 28. Alonso tried convincing her that what had happened was consensual. The victim stated it was not,” according to the report.

Police later attempted to seize Alonso’s phone, but he initially refused to cooperate and said he didn’t have it, according to the affidavit.

In March, Alonso took a plea in abeyance to misdemeanor drug possession, according to court records.