One morning in late February, Caitlin Mooney woke up with a sense of creeping dread.

The night before, she'd been hanging with a guy she'd met at a party a few days earlier. It wasn't a romantic connection, she said — they had lots of mutual friends. He lived in a building in Philadelphia that doubled as a DIY music venue.

There was a show that night. So, they listened to music, got pizza, watched some TV. She felt so comfortable she fell asleep on the couch.

"I asked if it was OK if I just spent the night there," she said, "because it was getting really late and the storm was really bad, and I didn't want to pay for an Uber."

He said it was fine, so she went to sleep on his bed, alone, fully clothed. But when she woke up, she was naked from the waist down. She could see and smell semen on her abdomen.

In a dull panic, she fled quietly. She went home, showered, and hurried to her job as a nanny. All day, she tried to make sense of it: "Maybe I was half asleep and I agreed to something? But I didn't remember doing that, and I only had one beer and it's not like I was blacked out."

She messaged him repeatedly, nagging for answers. He responded, "You're out of your mind."

Ultimately, she processed what she believes happened: rape.

So, she did what a growing number of women are doing with allegations they think police won't act on. She went on Facebook and called him out by his name.

After all, #MeToo news stories can help if the man you're naming is, say, Harvey Weinstein, or anyone on the list of "S— Media Men" like Mark Halperin and Jann Wenner, who have been accused of misconduct.

But what if he's no one important or famous, just a guy on the West Philly scene? Maybe you can't get a conviction, or get him fired from a high-profile job — but you can definitely warn other women.

As Mooney, 28, put it, "I believe in street justice a little more than police justice."

And, it worked. Hundreds of people liked or commented on the posts, which were made in four places, including two neighborhood groups with thousands of members. They promised to tell all their mutual friends and neighbors. They called his landlord. They contacted the managers of the DIY music venue that sublet space from him. They called the bars where he played music and demanded he be removed. They posted their own stories about questionable encounters with him, and told Mooney she wasn't alone.

Why not go to police?

Mooney never seriously thought of going to the police. She figured doing so would be, at best, pointless and, at worst, traumatic.

"It was a combination of it being a nonviolent thing: I had no marks on me, I spent the night willingly," she said. "It was just 'he said/she said.' And I know too many people who have gone to the police and … the victim was made to be the bad guy, and it ended up giving the rapist more power."

It's a choice many victims make: Only 23 percent of sexual assaults were reported in 2016, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics.

In surveys of female sexual-assault victims, reasons for not reporting included fear of reprisal, a belief that police could or would not help, and the notion that it was a personal, private matter.

Anecdotally, victims have reason to be cynical.

Consider Gwen Snyder, 32, the West Philadelphia delegate to the 2016 Democratic National Convention who complained that another delegate sexually assaulted her, licking her breasts in the middle of a crowded party.

"I wasn't drunk. I wasn't dressed provocatively. It felt like all the things people use as an excuse to call someone's story into question — none of those things were in place," she said. There was video footage and multiple eyewitnesses; it seemed like an open-and-shut case.

But it turned out she had to not only file a police report, but also make repeated phone calls to the police, pester the District Attorney's Office, contact the National Organization for Women, and circulate a petition just to get charges filed.

Along the way, she said, she had to endure treatment ranging from dismissive to aggressive. For example, when she asked the detective for a copy of her report, he refused. "I asked why and he said, 'Well, imagine if you were anally raped and you took a cab and left it behind, and then someone could blackmail you with it.' "

And, in the end, a judge acquitted the man.

Snyder doesn't regret going through the legal system. But, she said: "The fact that people were calling him out and sharing the story and talking about what happened was probably the most deeply accountable that he was ever held."

A cultural call-out

When the call-and-response of #MeToo began last year, it was less about naming names than documenting the pervasiveness of sexual misconduct.

"It's a cultural call-out, to say we need to hold all men and the culture accountable," said Shauna MacDonald, a professor of communication and director of the program for gender and women's studies at Villanova University. "That, to me, seems a very different approach to 'I want to hold this one person accountable.' "

In some ways, she suggested, it has more in common with doxxing, the online posting of personal information. "These interactions may have similar effects to the calling out of white supremacists after Charlottesville," she said. (On the other end of the spectrum, they're also not so different from the case of a man recently caught by a South Philadelphia security camera failing to pick up after his dog. Readers rapidly identified him and sent him Facebook messages and emails to inform him of his duties.)

"What's the difference between warning others of a danger and reputation-dragging?" MacDonald asked.

"You don't want to suggest that victims don't have ownership of their story, but you have to weigh that against the potential consequences and the very real danger of collateral damage. It's like setting off a time bomb: you don't know who's going to read it and what action they might take."

Still, women like Mooney say what they're creating is not a smear campaign, but a public-service announcement.

In one public Facebook post that was shared several dozen times in December, a woman detailed how she'd shared a bed with a Philadelphia man more than 15 years ago and awoke to find he was touching her. At the time, she didn't know how to handle it. Now, she posted, "He needs to have a reckoning."

The mob justice was immediate. Her friends contacted their mutual friends, their colleagues, and his workplace — which promptly announced that he had resigned.

Those are high stakes. Yet, women say that failing to post a call-out can be just as morally fraught as posting one.

Emily Andrews, 34, of West Philadelphia, heard about Mooney's post and quickly logged on to add her experience with the same man. He'd wrapped her in an uncomfortably long hug, and, as she struggled to pull away, groped her butt. It's the type of encounter women deal with every day. Still, in light of Mooney's story, she wishes she'd done more back then — maybe even posted on Facebook.

She embraces what she calls the new "call-out culture."

"It's super important to notify people in your area of [men or women] that are aggressive and make people feel uncomfortable," she said.

That's why a third woman, Suz Carroll, 25, of Fishtown, added her own story to Mooney's post, about a sexual assault by the same man, when she was camping at a festival a few years ago.

"All I can remember is being in and out of consciousness, and his eyes and his smell, and him perched on top of me in a way I couldn't really move — and my friend coming and pulling him off of me," she said.

It was late, she was drunk on sangria and it lasted just a few minutes. She never called the authorities.

"I felt a lot of shame around it," Carroll said.

Later, when #MeToo began, she shared her story, but without naming names. She was fearful, she said: "I didn't want him to accuse me of something, like I was making it up, or to come after me."

Then, a friend sent her Mooney's Facebook post.

Carroll said naming her attacker provided a minor sense of relief: "It puts the accountability back on him instead of me carrying it on my own."

The damage done

What's problematic, though, is that people who post on social media routinely underestimate the impact of their posts, said Kathryn Norlock, a philosopher at Trent University in Ontario who's written about the ethics of online shaming.

"Once you put something out there on a billboard in cyberspace," she said, "you lose control of what happens."

The man Mooney accused declined to comment for this article and has not been charged with a crime, so the Inquirer and Daily News are not printing his name. But it appears that the fallout has been significant.

A staffer at one of the clubs where he played confirmed the musician had been "suspended" for personal reasons. "It's just not good for business," he said.

The music venue that was subletting from the man initially planned to ban him from the premises during shows, said Katie Miller, 25, one of the people who ran the venue. Eventually, the venue was kicked out. "As far as I know, he was also evicted," she said. The property owner declined to comment, but no legal action has been filed.

In response to Mooney's post, a few people did question her account, suggesting she must have been drunk or drugged. One man even "interrogated" her at a bar.

But, for the most part, people took her claim at face value.

"Statistically speaking, only 2 to 10 percent of rape allegations are false," Miller said. "And, given that statistic, we felt that we had no other choice but to believe her."

Facebook readers like Miller have to make determinations based on what facts are available to them. Norlock said that's part of the problem: "On social media, you're never going to have facts. You're only going to have reports. If people are already biased to believe men more often than women, to be gendered or racist in our gut reactions, social media encourages those kinds of reactions."

Given that, she worries there's a great deal of damage that can be done, and not much good.

"But we don't have a lot of good alternatives for people whose complaints about sexual assault and sexual harassment are not taken seriously in their lives," she said. "So in the absence of good alternatives, sometimes social media is all you're left with."