A man once hailed by Donald Trump’s administration as a “victim” of the #MeToo movement has been arrested for allegedly killing and dismembering the body of his girlfriend.
Joseph Carl Roberts, 42, has been accused of killing Rachel Elizabeth Imani Buckner after her body parts were discovered in a large trash bag wrapped up in duct tape, according to The San Francisco Chronicle.
After he told the news his life was almost destroyed by false sexual harassment allegations he garnered while at university, his claims were touted by Donald Trump’s former education secretary Betsy DeVos.
Ms DeVos rolled back guidance on campus sexual assault in 2020 and gave further protection to those who are accused.
Mr Roberts, who was elected in 2020 for a seat on the San Francisco Republican Central Committee, was arrested on 6 September after DNA examiners found both Ms Buckner’s and Mr Robert’s profiles on the remains and the bag.
He allegedly dismembered her body into pieces, decapitating her head and removing her hands and feet with an electric chainsaw to try and hide her identity.
Her remains were found on 20 July after a passerby on the waterfront trail in Alameda spotted the bag in the bay which was omitting a putrid smell.
Mr Roberts claimed he was a MeToo victim after being kicked off the Savannah State University campus in Georgia when two women made allegations that he had verbally sexually harassed them in person and online.
In a string of media interviews, he said he had been accused of several sexual harassment allegations throughout his time at university, which allegedly drove him to depression and attempted suicide in 2013.
In April 2015, he sued the university for $15 million in federal court and acted as his own attorney.
He claimed that the women were harassing him with text messages, but said that the court, who dismissed his lawsuit, did an “excessively hurried investigation” and discriminated against him “on the basis of his male sex,” reported the newspaper.
Mr Roberts met Ms Buckner, a young mother and a spoken-word poet, at Golden Gate Unversity of Law and they later got engaged.
Between January 2022 and June 2023, there were 17 calls made to police to their apartment for welfare checks, disturbances, reported domestic violence and suspicious circumstances, reported The Chronicle.
In February 2022, the couple broke into Ms Buckner’s mother’s house and allegedly physically assaulted her mother and grandmother, who sustained a broken arm.
A judge issued a protective order for both of them to stay away from the two women and they left with plea deals, which gave them probation.
More than a year later, Mr Roberts is accused of killing his girlfriend in their apartment sometime in July, court records state.
Investigators say that Mr Roberts soon topped communication with Ms Buckner on the phone after nine months of consistent texting.
He also allegedly kept her phone, drove her car and never reported her missing.
Prosecutors say that on 30 August FBI officers started to surveil Mr Roberts, and witnessed carpets being removed from his house.
When investigators interviewed him and told him that Ms Buckner was dead, he allegedly claimed he did not know what happened to her and said it was probably suicide.
Mr Roberts has pleaded not guilty to the charges and is being held without bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, California.