One man from Vancouver Island has been charged and three others are suspects in a group sexual assault of a woman in Denver last year.
Colby James Messer, 30, was arrested in Las Vegas earlier this month, and faces six charges of sexual assault stemming from a brutal attack in Denver’s Grand Hyatt Hotel on November 15.
Messer and his three friends, all from Vancouver Island, were in the city for a Denver Broncos game, according to the sworn affidavit of Denver Police Department Detective Steve Bishop. Messer allegedly met the 27-year-old victim the night before, when she was celebrating her birthday with a friend, according to court documents.
“Her intention was to be celebrating, and instead she becomes a victim of this horrible crime,” said Denver District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Lynn Kimbrough.
The woman remembered drinking in a bar with Messer and two other suspects, according to Bishop’s affidavit, but did not recall travelling to a hotel room.
“The victim stated that she woke in their hotel room and felt as if she had been sexually assaulted and stated that she did not consent,” reads Bishop’s affidavit for Messer’s arrest.
“This is a sexual assault not just that involves multiple suspects, but involves objects in a hotel room,” said Kimbrough.
“It’s a set of circumstances, the nature of these allegations are incredibly disturbing. Even among people in our office, who see disturbing things frequently.”
(The full court documents, which are graphic in nature, can be viewed here)
Denver Police were able to quickly identify Messer and the three subjects, who allegedly flew back to Vancouver on November 16, through hotel surveillance footage and DNA testing.
Messer was in Las Vegas, where he planned to propose to his girlfriend, when he was arrested on March 4. His first court appearance was in Denver last week.
Police documents say that according to their British Columbia license plates, the three other suspects are from Port Alberni and Victoria, but their identities have not been released.
Kimbrough said the District Attorney’s office will work with the Justice Department to pursue a case against the remaining three suspects.
Messer has posted a $300,000 cash bond, but his passport has been taken away.
None of the allegations against Messer or the other three suspects have been proven in court.
– With files from CBS Denver