*Warning—the following article contains a graphic depiction of a rape.
Alex Smith and Jonas Dick considered themselves part of the elite.
The two men were instructors in the community of pickup artists—men who obsessively study and practice methods of meeting and sleeping with as many women as possible. Some men in the community say pickup is about self-actualization, and finding meaning in their lives.
But according to San Diego’s district attorney, Alex and Jonas—both 27 years old—are predators and the pursuit of their “art” has led to the rape of multiple women.
In what may be a first for the pickup community, the two men—along with their “student,” 28-year-old Jason Berlin—were charged in 2015 with the rape of a San Diego woman. Jonas and Jason pleaded guilty to the charges; Alex has maintained his innocence, claiming—contrary to Jason and Jonas’s sworn pleas—that the events of that night were consensual.