MORGAN COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) — A Hartselle man is in custody following an investigation by the FBI, who claims he tried to hire someone to kidnap and brutally rape a woman in Wisconsin.
Matthias Jacob Edward Mann, 22, was arrested by the FBI at his family’s home in Hartselle Thursday morning, where he was charged with attempted kidnapping and attempting to entice someone to cross state lines to commit a sexual crime.
According to court documents, Mann carefully planned an entire attack on a woman he had previously talked with online, but had never met in person.
The documents stated that Detective Berg with the Owatonna Police Department in Minnesota was monitoring the social media messaging platform “Kik” in an undercover capacity. On Dec. 29, Berg was monitoring a group called, “Abduction and R@pe 3” where users describe various fantasies, request the sexual assault of others (with either a knowing or unknowing victim), and trade rape/sexual assault videos.
Court documents stated Berg saw a new user with the screen name “Dylan H,” whose Kik account posted a message in the “Abduction and R@pe 3” group around 1:29 p.m. that read, “Can anyone abduct and rape a ***** in Wisconsin?”
Berg messaged Dylan H. saying he was interested in helping with the request. “Dylan H.” then provided the name of the victim as a person from Wisconsin that he wanted to have kidnapped and raped. Records state Mann offered the detective $2,000 to complete the task.
“Dylan H.” also sent Berg several pictures of the woman along with a physical address in Sun Prarie, Wisconsin. He described her as an “ex-friend” and requested that she “needs the most brutal **** rape imaginable.”
“Dylan H.” told Berg he had tried to do this before, but the person who was going to carry out the act tried to expose him.
Court documents stated that during their chats, Berg told “Dylan H.” that he lived in Minnesota. “Dylan H.” asked how long of a drive it would be from where he lived to where the victim lived.
At this point, Berg contacted the Sun Prairie Police Department in Wisconsin to find the woman to ensure she would be safe. Investigators with the SPPD were able to verify the woman was a real person and contacted her to inform her of the situation.
Law enforcement then devised a plan to ensure her safety.
On Dec. 30, Berg called “Dylan H.” and recorded their conversation. During that call, “Dylan H.” confirmed his request to have the woman abducted and raped, stating it was not just a fantasy. Court documents stated that he confirmed the woman was a former friend/acquaintance and said he would want a video of the abduction and sexual assault to confirm it was carried out as he wished.
That evening, Berg asked the woman if she knew anyone in Georgia. She remembered the name, “Matthias Mann,” but told Berg they only talked online and had never met in person. She also gave investigators a screenshot of Mann.
The detective continued talking with “Dylan H.” on Kik and through text messages over the weekend of Jan. 1-2. He agreed to pay the detective $100 for gas money and $2,000 once the rape was completed.
Through a series of subpoenas and search warrants to telephone service and internet providers, investigators determined “Dylan H.” had ties to Georgia and Hartselle. Eventually, “Dylan H.” was identified as Matthias Mann.
The woman contacted investigators over that same weekend to say she had received crude messages from the phone number associated with Mann, as well as a $10 donation to a GoFundMe she had set up a year ago.
On Monday, Mann contacted Berg and told him to send the video of the rape concealed in a DVD case to him in the mail at a Hartselle address, which is believed to be where he lives with his parents.
On Tuesday, Alabama FBI Agent Christopher Hendon was contacted by a detective with the Owatonna Police Department in Minnesota alerting him to the situation. Law enforcement then went to Mann’s address and found a car registered in his name in the driveway.
On Wednesday, Mann sent the detective $75 through Zelle for “miscellaneous” expenses.
Mann is currently being held in the Morgan County Jail.