Kelley McDaneld: Rape reporting


I am deeply concerned about the fact that the Steamboat Pilot & Today did not immediately report on the recent sexual assault that occurred in downtown Steamboat Springs. Reporting a rape one week after it has occurred is certainly not responsible and timely reporting. Other women unaware of the recent sexual assault could have put themselves in dangerous situations this past week walking alone downtown at night with a predator on the loose. Responsible and timely reporting would be to print a story on the assault the very next day in an attempt to warn women to take extra precautions. In most towns, this type of crime would be reported the very next day, and many times it would be reported on the front page. The Steamboat Pilot & Today waited more than a week to even report on this violent crime, and then they chose to bury the story on the fourth page. Obviously, the victim's privacy should absolutely be respected. However, simultaneously an article can be thoughtfully and accurately written to alert others in town.

I found out about this sexual assault through hearsay and a text message that was sent by a fellow resident to many women in Steamboat. This text message might not have been entirely accurate, but at least it communicated the frightening fact that a rape had occurred in our town and that women should be concerned for their safety. This text message did more to protect the women of Steamboat than our local paper.

The article printed Oct. 29 in the Steamboat Today regarding this sexual assault also indicated that other sexual assaults had been reported to the police in previous weeks. Why were these also not reported in respective articles in the paper after they occurred? How many rapes does it take to get this newspaper to step up and report the news? If there were a murder in Steamboat with the perpetrator on the loose would The Steamboat Pilot & Today wait a whole week to run an article in the paper? I doubt it. The Steamboat Pilot & Today always has seemed to avoid reporting on sexual assault. This is not the first time there has been a lack of reporting of this violent crime, but it is about time it is the last.

Kelley McDaneld

Steamboat Springs


stephb 6 years ago

seeuski, Thankyou for the above information. I hope they can catch this person with the evidence collected.


1999 6 years, 1 month ago

amen Kelley....thanks you so much for writing this letter!!!!

it's astounding the pilot chose not to report on this but did an entire piece and the name of a man who had a fight with his wife.

also...I strongly suspect if the rapist was targeting men this would be front page everyday.

shame on the pilot and the police for allowing the women of steamboat to ignorantly go about our business.

preventing another rape is job one!!!!!


localboy17 6 years, 1 month ago

I'm only going to say this in the paper's defense, but a couple of things could have happened. Either who ever was involved maybe wanted this out of the papers in which case it was a polite and responsible thing for the paper to do. Or maybe all of the facts or the story behind it had not developed yet either from a prolonged investigation or lack of communication from the PD, also in which case it was responsible for the paper to find that out before cranking out a tweaked version of what actually happened. I they had done that everybody would be up in arms about how false it was. Cut them a break.


ElevenFootPole 6 years, 1 month ago

The shooting of a bear in Downtown Steamboat makes headlines for weeks. The rape of a woman is buried. Seriously unbelievable.


stephb 6 years, 1 month ago

Have I missed something? I thought this was a sexual assault, and now your throwing the word "rape" around. We need the facts, plain and simple. There is a big difference. Now that this is so botched, it would be great if Pilot could come out soon with the facts, as far is if this was a random act, someone she knew, etc.


seeuski 6 years, 1 month ago

Oh, so if one calls it a sexual assault that is not so bad to the victim? What is up with that? Being the closeness of this community some of us have heard some of the details about a couple of the crimes and for that reason localboy17 has no clue. This letter was very well written and timely and I suspect that tomorrow we will have a statement by the SSPD or the Pilot or both. 1999 you took the words right out of my mouth about the domestic dispute, that's a newsworthy story but no threat exists to the community after it is over unlike the assaults.


seeuski 6 years ago

stephb, I see your point and I agree with you totally. As Steamboat is such a close knit community there are many who are receiving the details of this case, accurately or otherwise, through word of mouth unfortunately. The word is that the crime was of the more serious end of the scale but here is an excerpt from last weeks pilot report which indicates 3 assaults and DNA evidence existing and being tested. One can assume that by the papers own reporting they have samples which will render genetic coding so we are left to assume what? I would say the worst.

From the pilot:

"We have no suspect information to go on, so if we are able to make a case, it would be built through DNA and forensic evidence," he said. Police did a forensic examination of the victim and an examination of the crime scene, he said. Kleiber said a woman reported that one man assaulted her at 11th and Oak streets at about 1 a.m. Oct. 21. She was unable to provide a description of her attacker, and there were no witnesses. The woman also suffered minor scrapes in the incident, Kleiber said. Three sexual assaults were reported in Steamboat in the previous weeks, but Kleiber said the cases weren't connected."

I was referred to a psychiatrist by one nice person for my suspicions as to the meager reporting on these 3 cases as there are suspect descriptions in at least 1 of the cases. I'll leave it at that so this post isn't deleted.


stephb 6 years ago

Seeuski, you missed the point. There is a BIG difference between the two. The woman who wrote the letter used the word rape. I was wondering where she heard that from, because I hadn't seen it in the paper. Sexual assault has many degrees. I never said it was better or worse for the victim either way. It is all a violation of that persons body and mind, and it is ALL a serious crime. There is a vast difference if you get grabbed on the butt, as opposed to rape. Both are considered sexual assault. Is she assuming or did I miss something. That was an honest question I asked earlier. By the way, I believe the community has a right to know that it has occured plain and simple.


Christine Shook 6 years ago

I thought that the term assault meant that no physical human contact (i.e. touching) occurred. When the term "battery" is used that means that there was physical contact. DNA evidence can be retrieved from anything, i.e. a cigarette butt that the suspect used and left at the scene. However, DNA evidence does nothing without a suspect. Hopefully there are good reasons that the police department is with holding this information from the public. Until then, I am sure everyone in the community is aware of what possibly occurred so everyone should calm down and respect the victim and the current investigation.


seeuski 6 years ago

Who is disrespecting the victim? If you read the pilot story I posted above it says that DNA evidence is being tested and that a forensic exam of the victim was conducted. So I guess everyone should not worry the police will handle it, news to you, the police don't prevent crime they investigate the aftermath and people need to know so they can take precautions to protect themselves. Do you want to be an unsuspecting victim? Help, help! that will be your defense.

And rape or sexual assault are almost indistinguishable in the way crimes are reported in many cases.

Wiki for ya. "Assault is often defined to include not only violence, but any physical contact with another person without their consent."

Some of us care more than we should I guess.


1999 6 years ago


are you serious?????

there is a rapist on the lose...the reporting of it is way sub par.....and we should calm down and let the police handle it???

they didn't prevent the other assaults now did they?

have you ever been raped

do you know anyone who has?

do you have daughetrs or sisters?

and frankly NO ONE is trying to direspect the victim.

the ONLY disrespect that could occur is this crimes being swept under the rug and other women getting raped or "assaulted"

the women of steamboat were allowed to ignorantly go along with their lives while a rapist is on the lose.

a little warning goes along way.


Christine Shook 6 years ago

First, I was actually wondering whether the term sexual assault meant actual human contact and whether or not the fact that a rape occurred was just speculation or whether it truly happened. I AM NOT SAYING IT DIDN'T, I am just curious as to what really happened I guess. It is impossible to post anything on these things without getting bombarded with speculative accusations.


seeuski 6 years ago

When you direct your comments at other concerned citizens and say we should calm down you may expect to have some discourse. The reason for so much concern is that we have gained info via word of mouth and know that we are not being told whats up.


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