Glenwood Springs man headed to trial in rape case
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – A Glenwood Springs man charged with kidnapping and raping a Denver woman nearly two years ago, is likely heading to trial.
Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Daniel Petre ruled Monday that enough evidence exists to proceed in the trial against Matthew Donald Weaver, 24. However, Weaver’s attorney, Mark Rubinstein said that he hopes a resolution could be reached between the defense and prosecutors that would eliminate a trial.
Weaver is accused of forcing the woman into a narrow alley between the buildings of Catholic Charities and A-Team Realtors, near the intersection of Grand Avenue and 10th Street in Glenwood Springs, and forcing her to have sex with him in June 2008.
The victim told authorities that she was approached from behind as she walked south on Grand Avenue at approximately 2:30 a.m. on June 21, 2008.
The victim also told authorities that she felt like she should try to fight off the offender, but that “she just froze,” the affidavit stated.
Weaver was arrested on Jan. 9, 2010, 18 months after the alleged incident occurred, after the Colorado Bureau of Investigation returned biological evidence that identified Weaver as a potential suspect. Prosecutors charged Weaver with felony counts of sexual assault and kidnapping.
Forensic investigators concluded that semen found in the victim’s pants to be Weaver’s.
According to the affidavit, the victim spoke with Weaver near the intersection of Grand Avenue and 8th Street a few moments before the assault. Glenwood Springs Detective John Hassell testified that the victim told him that while she was talking with Weaver, he received a phone call from his then wife, and that he was going to meet her. He entered a nearby bar, and the victim proceeded south on Grand Avenue.
As the victim walked in front of the Catholic Charities building she made eye contact with a man walking north, approximately 25-30 years old, who smiled at her as he walked by, according to the police report. Immediately after she passed by the man, she stated that she felt a hand on her upper back, and was forcibly guided into the alley, Hassell testified.
At a later interview in January 2010, the victim identified Weaver, in a photo lineup, as “Matt,” the man she spoke with moments before being assaulted. However, when authorities asked if Weaver could have been the person who passed by her, she was unable to say for sure if it was, or was not him.
Hassell testified that he spoke with Weaver’s ex-wife also, who said that he left within a few moments after he re-entered the bar after speaking with the victim the night of the assault. The ex-wife told Hassell that she did not see Weaver again until after 3 a.m., in the location of the alleged assault, when she went to her car to charge her cell phone.
Rubinstein attempted to show the possibility that another assailant could be responsible for the alleged crime, even asking Hassell as to why convicted rapist Dale Loper, who was considered a suspect early on in the investigation, was not investigated further.
However, Hassell testified that Loper was ruled out as a suspect shortly after the DNA evidence identifying Weaver as a suspect was returned.
Loper was convicted of raping an elderly woman in May 2008. He was sentenced to 41 years in prison for that crime.
Weaver did not enter a plea Monday. He is due back in court in May.
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