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Capitol Hill rape case wasn't highlighted because victim was a man, cops say

capitol hill rape suspect 2 205x205.jpg
Big sketches, map below.
Earlier this month, we told you about a reported sexual assault of a man in Capitol Hill by two still-unknown male assailants.

Afterward, a reader argued that the case had gotten so much attention because the victim was male, whereas incidents of women being raped in Capitol Hill happen frequently and are seldom reported. But a Denver police spokesman denies that gender was a factor in the department's decision to publicize the crime.

As we've reported, the DPD says the incident took place at around 12:30 a.m. on March 10. The victim was walking near the intersection of East 13th Avenue and North Emerson Street when he was taken to a nearby location by two men, both of whom sexually assaulted him.

Here's a sketch of the first suspect:

capitol hill rape suspect 1.jpg
The DPD's description of the suspect reads: "A medium-skin-toned black male in his mid-twenties with a small afro. He was about 6'1" to 6'2" tall, weighing 135 to 140 lbs. He had a noticeable scar over his left eye, through his eyebrow. He was wearing a red shirt with no collar with black lettering on the front. He wore a dark-colored hooded sweat jacket, blue or black jeans and black sneakers. He was also wearing a gold watch with a gold sectioned band on his right arm."

This is an illustration of suspect number two:

capitol hill rape suspect 2.jpg
The DPD description, which references observations by the victim: "A white male in his mid-twenties, with brownish blonde hair in a short buzz cut. He was 6'1" to 6'2" tall with a very muscular build and weighing about 200 lbs. He was wearing a black, shiny windbreaker-type jacket, dark jeans and Nike high-top tennis shoes. He had a tattoo on his right forearm that he described as letters in a language other than English, but not Chinese. The suspect had a silver ring on one of his fingers that looked like a large class ring. He stated that suspect #2 had a deep voice."

Was the crime alert sent out the media organizations like this one in part because a man was sexually assaulted -- a less common offense than if women are the victims? Absolutely not, says Lieutenant Matt Murray, spokesman for the Denver Police Department.

"The decision to send out information to the community is not based on the sex of the victim, or race, or any of those things," Murray says. "The decision is based on the elements of the crime."

The key factor in this instance, Murray goes on, was the fact that the suspects were strangers to the victim -- meaning that the local citizenry needs to know that men fitting the descriptions above are still out there, and could potentially attack more innocent people.

As for the overall number of sexual assaults in Capitol Hill, there have been plenty of them, unfortunately, over the past year.

Continue to see a map of sexual assaults in Capitol Hill and more of our interview with Lieutenant Matt Murray.


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12 comments
Craigley
Craigley

Nobody paid when it happened to me.

Uncle Sam

Kris Call
Kris Call

I saw it on a few of the stations I watch

Brad Kinney
Brad Kinney

let that truth be known !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

rhot9839
rhot9839

You guys are the ones who played it up with words like "Brutal" in the headline. 

Josh Rhoten
Josh Rhoten

They do if the Westword has anything to say about it.

Timothy Black Tail Deer
Timothy Black Tail Deer

police can say whatever they want, everybody pretty much knows this story wouldn't have gotten so much attention if the victim was a woman.

Rebecca Zak Loy
Rebecca Zak Loy

What was he doing walking alone at that hour? (sarcasm)

11er
11er

I lived on the HILL mid 80's -2000. It's always been a little WILD but it really fux me up to read about this kind of thing on a regular. Do they still have the guardian angels? just joking.. I hope they catch those fools, did they just get out of prison or what, why wasn't it a woman victim... O well I will still be coming as usual for 420@ civic and exdo!!! cant wait.lost contac with old friends, but ALWAYS meet new ones.....

Tim Tindle
Tim Tindle

I heard the guy was dressed like a slut. (sarcasm)

clapubeezy
clapubeezy

@Timothy BlackYou can say whatever you want, but in reality the story is getting attention because there are two rapists running around the city. 

Ever heard of male prison rape? It happens everyday multiple times in numerous prisons across the country. Yet no one writes articles or discusses it all. People merely sit around and make jokes about it because the people involved have been labeled criminals in the same way  many females who have been raped are labeled teases and written off by placing the blame on the victim. 

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Timothy Black Simply put, Timothy. Thanks for the post.

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