Women speak out about being approached to be models

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– Topeka police were called to West Ridge Mall just after 5:00 Thursday afternoon. Officers say a woman told them she had been approached by a man about becoming a model, she also said he was taking pictures of her.

Since this report, KSNT News found six other women who had similar encounters and were given the exact same contact information.

“I was like oh my goodness that is what happened to me,” said Catherine Barnhart when she saw a Facebook post of another woman describing her experience.

Barnhart was on a walk at Washburn University when the man approached her.

“The semester started I would walk around Washburn campus all the time. I stopped for two months. I didn’t walk around campus, if I had to walk through campus by myself, I would ask a friend if they could escort me. I didn’t go out anytime during the night because I was just afraid,” Barnhart said.

Another woman who was approached at Walmart doesn’t want to use her name for safety reasons, but said she had a similar experience. She was given a post-it note with the mans contact information.

A third woman said he asked her to pose in swim suits and lingerie.

“And if I didn’t have any of those items that he would purchase them for me,” Brenda Clabaugh-Freel said.

She said she won’t go to stores alone anymore.

“I was raised in Topeka, and Topeka is home to me and it doesn’t feel safe there anymore and its sad,” Freel said.

KSNT News actually called the number the man is giving these women. When there was no answer, we left him a voicemail telling him who we were.

When we called 30 minutes later, the phone had been disconnected.

“It’s kind of like a grieving process almost, like oh man this guy followed me,” Barnhart said.

“Somehow, somewhere this stuff needs to stop…and if i could make it stop i would,” Freel said.

Topeka police haven’t determined if the man is the same as all the other incidents, but said the descriptions of the incidents are all very similar. They said to always be aware of your surroundings and to trust your instincts.

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