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Thursday, April 7, 2011— Bond has been set at $500,000 for a Chicago Heights felon who kept a woman against her will and battered her, Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Thursday.

Robert McMathRobert McMath, 46, of the 200 block of East 14th Street has been charged with one count of aggravated domestic battery – strangulation; one count of unlawful restraint; one count of interfering with the reporting of domestic violence; and one count of assault.

McMath and his 39-year-old victim corresponded for six months via the internet and phone after meeting on a free social networking and dating website.  McMath posted a profile on the site with the stated goal of “discovering the woman of my dreams”.  He also described himself as “compassionate, understanding, open minded and tender loving…” and went on to say “my only motivation is to keep you happy… in all ways possible. I am a perfect gentleman…”

During their conversations, McMath never mentioned his violent criminal history, nor his affiliation as a Conservative Vice Lord.

The victim finally agreed to meet McMath at a public location near the Chicago Heights Police Department on March 25th, driving approximately 160 miles from her home in Kenney, Illinois.  The two spent time together at his home, and socialized for the next two days.  According to the victim, McMath, who has the name “Cassanova” tattooed on his arm, drank continuously during this period, and eventually became belligerent on Monday, when she informed him she was going back home.  At some point thereafter,  McMath assaulted the victim, and forced her to drive to a relative’s Ford Heights home, where he refused to let her leave.  During this time, McMath choked the victim, pulled her hair and kicked her while she was on the floor.  He also took her cell phone and threatened her life, and the lives of her children.

McMath told the victim he planned to hold her until later this week, when they would then move downstate together.  After two days of being held and battered by McMath in Ford Heights, and in fear for her life, the victim decided to befriend him and gain his trust so she could escape.  Eventually, on Wednesday, the victim was able to grab her car keys and drive to the Chicago Heights Police Department.  Officers there contacted the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, which serves as the police force in Ford Heights.
Sheriff’s Police investigators put out a critical reach bulletin, searched for McMath at addresses he was known to frequent, and interviewed friends and relatives.  On Monday, April 4th, McMath turned himself in and he was formally charged on Tuesday.

McMath has a lengthy criminal history with 22 arrests – including one for kidnapping – and 12 convictions.  He served a total of 11 years in the state penitentiary.

McMath appeared in Markham bond court Wednesday.  His next court date is April 26th, also in Markham.

Sheriff Dart reminds those using social networking sites to use extreme caution with personal interactions, as people often misrepresent themselves online and there is no way to confirm their identity.  Adults who decide to meet someone from the internet should always inform others of their whereabouts, and leave details and information about the individual, including name, a photo and address.

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