Thursday, April 21, 2011
Prospective Nun Raped in Denver Airport
Woman says she was raped in Denver airport as employees walked past
DENVER (AP) — A woman who missed a connecting flight at Denver International Airport said she was raped in a deserted concourse by a man she met at an airport bistro while two janitors passed by and did nothing.
Officers arrested Noel Alexander Bertrand, 26, of Portland, Ore., early Tuesday after two airline employees on the tarmac saw the attack through a window and called for help, Denver television stations KMGH and KDVR reported.
Bertrand was being held on suspicion of assault and felony sexual assault with bail set at $10,000. He was expected to claim consensual sex.
The 22-year-old woman said she was flying from Oregon to Illinois on Monday to interview at a convent and decided to spend the night at the airport when she struck up a conversation with the man.
The woman said Bertrand followed her after the bistro closed at midnight. He asked to kiss her, and she refused, but he moved in anyway and then threw her to the floor. The woman said the man pulled her pants down and assaulted her for about 10 minutes. It was not made clear whether the woman was a virgin or if the man ejaculated during the attack.
During the assault, two airport janitors passed by and said nothing, according to the woman, whose name was withheld in accordance with standard news reporting policy.
Airport spokeswoman Jenny Schiavone told the Denver Post that a security guard called 911 and detained Bertrand until police arrived.
A woman who said she is Bertrand’s grandmother answered the phone at his Portland home Tuesday and said he is in Denver. She said her grandson is a former U.S. Marine, for some inexplicable reason, but declined further comment.
Another airport spokeswoman, Laura Coale, told KMGH that the airport was investigating whether any employees failed to report the attack.