(Editor’s note: This story has been updated with a statement from Bumble.)
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A serial rapist is looking for love online, according to a woman floored by what popped up on a dating app.
Amber Williams said it is unmistakably Dominic Yocco, who FOX 2 warned you about this past May.
We reported on how Yocco was around other minors at a party, which was a violation of his bond at the time, as he was fighting serial rape charges. A jury then convicted him in September on 15 counts of rape and sodomy involving girls ages 14–16.
Now, Williams, 20, claimed that Yocco is still on a dating app.
“I was in complete shock,” she said. “Because I just can’t believe he would get on a dating app when he should be in prison and in jail.”
Yocco is in jail at the St. Louis County Justice Center awaiting his prison sentencing, which is set for Dec. 22.
Yet Williams said his dating profile shows new photos uploaded three days ago.
“Somebody’s either doing something they shouldn’t be doing like catfishing people, which isn’t good, or he could be using it in jail,” she said.
County jail inmates recently got access to special computer tablets, but only with reported jail-secured apps that do not allow internet surfing or access to social media.
FOX 2 contacted the St. Louis County Justice Center and asked them to investigate to be sure inmates have not taken over the system. We are waiting for an answer.
If someone else is using his pictures, safety advocates warn that could be more dangerous.
“A lot of the perpetrators and predators out there who do this, it’s like it’s their job,” said Cindy Malott.
Malott trains people to protect themselves with the group Crisis Aid International.
“Unfortunately, for a lot of our young people, they feel like they’re in a relationship if they’ve texted somebody for a week,” she said. “So, by the time those red flags pop up, like somebody using abusive language or threatening, then they feel so vested or intertwined in that relationship, it’s hard for them to extricate themselves.”
When Yocco was still free, prosecutors listed in court documents the sites he was using, such as Fam, Hinge, and Bumble. They also listed the fake names they found him using, like Nopi and Lucciano.
Williams said she saw him on Bumble, using the name Giovanni.
“He’s everywhere,” she said.
FOX 2 contacted the dating app Bumble for a comment as well as action. A spokesperson sent us the following statement:
We blocked this member as soon as we were made aware of this situation and in accordance with our Community Guidelines.
We are dedicated to building a community where our members feel safe to make connections and build meaningful relationships. Every member of our community is expected to adhere to our guidelines anytime they’re using Bumble. Any profile that violates our terms or guidelines may result in getting blocked from the app for good.
· As a platform that’s committed to helping people create safe and healthy relationships, Bumble has put in a significant amount of effort to give our community the appropriate tools and features to help ensure that they are having a safe experience while making meaningful connections on our apps.
· Bumble has a Block and Report feature to make it easy for people to block and report anyone who violates our community guidelines during any point of their dating journey within the app. If a member comes across a suspicious profile or if a match makes them feel uncomfortable, members can use the Block and Report feature to make sure the issue is escalated for our team to review and take appropriate action.
· Within the Bumble app, we also have a Safety & Wellbeing Center, where you can stay informed on Bumble’s safety features, find the appropriate tools and resources to help you date confidently. You can also visit safety.bumble.com.
· Bumble is committed to helping people create safe and healthy relationships, and this work extends beyond implementing safety product features within the app. Bumble has partnered with a range of organizations that align with its mission to create a world where all relationships are healthy and equitable. In 2020, Bumble made a multi-year pledge to support The National Domestic Violence Hotline and their “love is respect” initiative. This project engages, educates, and empowers young people to prevent and end abusive relationships. We have also teamed up with gender-based violence nonprofit, CHAYN, to launch Bloom, an industry-first partnership to provide complimentary online trauma support to members who experience sexual assault or relationship abuse. We have worked with CHAYN to create a custom curriculum spearheaded by survivor-led insights and feedback. If someone within our community reports sexual assault or relationship abuse to our feedback team, they will receive a code for free access to support.
FOX 2 also called Yocco’s grandmother, who Yocco lived with before he was convicted, and she has not responded.
Malott also recommended RAINN.org if you have been a victim of rape or sexual assault.