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CU Boulder student sentenced for sexually assaulting fellow student while she was passed out

Zachary Roper raped the victim after attending a sorority event, prosecutors said.
Credit: Boulder County Jail
Zachary Roper's mugshot

BOULDER, Colo. — A University of Colorado Boulder student who was convicted of raping a fellow student after a sorority event in January 2019 has been sentenced to four years to life in prison followed by 20 years to life on parole.

According to a release from the Boulder County District Attorney's Office, sorority leaders were concerned that the victim was too intoxicated and should go home. 

The release said they called an Uber to send her and her date, Zachary Roper, back to the sorority house, and the victim passed out from intoxication on the way there. 

Roper took advantage of the situation and had the driver take them to his apartment instead, according to the release.

When they arrived at Roper's apartment, the release says, Roper and the driver had to help the victim out of the car and Roper helped her into his apartment because she was unable to get out of the car or walk on her own. 

Once inside Roper's apartment, Roper sexually assaulted her, the release says.

When Roper and the victim didn't arrive at the sorority house as expected, friends of theirs became concerned and went to his apartment. They walked in on Roper raping the victim while she was passed out, the release says.

The victim underwent a Sexual Assault Nurse Exam and reported the crime to the Boulder Police Department, according to the release.

After a five-day trial in October 2020, a jury convicted Roper on two sexual assault counts. One count was for sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising the nature of conduct and the other was for sexual assault on a victim who is physically helpless, according to the release.

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“We want to acknowledge and thank the survivor for reporting to law enforcement and continuing to trust our team while the case endured difficult delays due to the pandemic," said Senior Deputy District Attorney Laura Kinde. "The Boulder Police Department did a remarkable job with this investigation. The jurors in this case selflessly served during a global pandemic and did so without hesitation.”

“The survivor of this sexual assault took the difficult and courageous step of reporting it to the police," said District Attorney Michael Dougherty. " At times, victims of sex offenses are reluctant to come forward and report the assault. As a result of this survivor’s decision to come forward, our office was able to secure justice for her and for our community. The Boulder Police Department and our prosecution team, led by Senior Deputy DA Laura Kinde, did an outstanding job on this case.”

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