On one day earlier this month, six men seeking sex came to the restaurant where Herrick works in just a four-minute span.And Herrick says the person controlling the fake profiles will often tell the visitors Herrick will "say no when he means yes," or that he'd sent them away only to hide them from his jealous roommate, and that they should return."They were setting him up to be sexually assaulted," says Herrick's attorney Carrie Goldberg.
The complaint states that the ex "would manipulate the geo-physical settings" of the app—a simple enough hack using GPS-spoofing apps for Android or jailbroken i Phones—to make fake accounts appear to be located at Herrick's home or work.The ex-boyfriend told WIRED in a phone call that he denies "any and all allegations" in the complaint, but declined to comment further due to what he described as another pending case that involves both him and Herrick.The next day brought just as many, all of whom referred to the same spoofed account.Herrick reported the fake profile to Grindr, but the impersonations only multiplied.Goldberg said she had personally verified all the claims in the complaint.
"Any attack on my client’s credibility is countered by the voluminous evidence I’ve seen," says Goldberg, who has risen to prominence as a fierce advocate of victims of revenge pornography cases.In the worst cases, the suit alleges, the impersonator requested a "rape fantasy." In one instance, Herrick says, a man refused to leave Herrick's apartment building, and wrestled with Herrick's roommate in the hallway until Herrick broke up the fight.Others have screamed obscenities at Herrick at his workplace, stalked him outside, and tried to have sex with him in the bathroom of the restaurant.That's when the man pulled out his phone and showed Herrick a Grindr profile that included a photo of Herrick in his kitchen, taken from his Instagram account, including the 32-year-old actor and model's face and bare chest. "That's me, but that's not me," he remembers saying.Herrick says three more men came to his home that first day, all expecting sex.Scruff also prevented the same device or IP address from creating any new accounts.