Sex assault reported in city

Alleged incident involved Copper Mountain Ski Resort employees

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The Steamboat Springs Police Department is investigating an alleged sexual assault at a local hotel involving an 18-year-old woman and a 23-year-old man, both of whom are Copper Mountain Ski Resort employees.

On Friday, the 18-year-old woman reported to police that the man raped her while they were visiting Steamboat Springs and sharing a hotel room with another man, Police Detective Bob DelValle said.

The woman reportedly told police that while she was sleeping on the night of Jan. 17, she woke to find the 23-year-old man on top of her and having sex with her.

The woman told police she pushed the man away, went into the bathroom and then went back to bed, DelValle said.

Three weeks later, the woman reported the incident to police.

Police continue to investigate the case and will hand over evidence to the District Attorney's Office, which will decide whether to file charges, DelValle said.

DelValle said he suspected the investigation would lead to criminal charges, most likely sexual assault, which is a Class 4 felony.

One of the challenges in the case, DelValle said, is that the woman has moved back to Australia, her home country. He also said no physical testing was done because of the lapse in time between the alleged incident and when it was reported.

DelValle said there was quite a bit of alcohol involved the night of the alleged sexual assault, but no date rape drugs were suspected.

This week, detectives traveled to Copper Mountain to interview the suspect and other witnesses.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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