Ex-Marine held in alleged rape at Denver airport

Reuters News
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Posted: Apr 13, 2011 3:23 PM
Ex-Marine held in alleged rape at Denver airport

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A 26 year-old former Marine is under arrest on suspicion of beating and sexually assaulting a woman inside a concourse at Denver International Airport, police said on Wednesday.

The woman said she was drinking with Noel Alexander Bertrand at an airport bar about 1 a.m. Tuesday morning after she missed her flight to Illinois, Sonny Jackson, a Denver police spokesman, told Reuters.

The 22 year-old woman, whom police did not identify, reported that after the bar closed she rejected Bertrand's sexual advances, and he slammed her head on the ground, beat her and sexually assaulted her at the airport's "A" concourse.

Bertrand is being held on $50,000 bond for investigation of felony sexual assault and physical assault, Jackson said.

The woman told a Denver television station that two janitors witnessed the assault but did not intervene. But police could not confirm that.

At some point, airport employees reported the alleged assault and detained Bertrand until police arrived and arrested him, Jackson said.

Jenny Schiavone, spokeswoman for Denver International Airport, said airport officials are cooperating with police in the investigation.

The woman was treated at a Denver hospital and released, police said.

Prosecutors could file formal charges against Bertrand by the end of the week, said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for the Denver District Attorney's Office.

Bertrand served as a U.S. embassy guard in Dublin, Ireland, and Caracas, Venezuela, according to a 2009 issue of Leatherneck Magazine, a publication for U.S. Marines.

(Editing by Alex Dobuzinskis and Greg McCune)