The women say Philippe was also strategic in the women he chose to date. They all agree he manipulated women who were fairly new to dating and just out of long relationships. "He preyed on the vulnerability," Diane says. "I think everybody kind of felt missing a relationship. We wanted to get back into that solidarity of having a significant other."

That desire to have a partner may have played into their desire to trust him, they say. Both Diane and Tricia, another victim, say they discussed using condoms, but Philippe convinced them it wasn't necessary. "He said: 'No, I'm very wholesome. I'm clean. I'm a martial arts instructor. I live my life so right, and we're adults. This is not necessary,'" Tricia says. "I had not been in the dating scene for many years and made some poor choices there that I wish I could turn around."

Diane says she confronted Philippe about using protection early in the relationship. "I said: 'I'm not seeing anybody else. Are you seeing anybody else?' And he kind of mumbled something. And I said, 'If you're seeing somebody else, that's okay, but we're going to start using condoms.' And then that's when he said, 'No, no, I'm not seeing anybody else.'"

Today, Diane says she should have done her own legwork to confirm what Philippe was saying. "Today my motto is: 'Trust but verify.'"


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