Resources for victims of sexual assault
CU Boulder Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance: 303-492-2127, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://www.colorado.edu/oiec/reporting-resolution-options/making-report
CU Boulder Office of Victim Assistance, 303-492-8855, email@example.com
Moving to End Sexual Assault 24-hour hotline: 303-443-7300
Safehouse Progressive Alliance for Nonviolence (Boulder): 24 Hour Hotline, 303-444-2424; Office, 303-449-8623
Safe Shelter of St. Vrain Valley (Longmont): 24 Hour Hotline, 303-772-4422; Office, 303-772-0432
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story omitted part of CU spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra's name. The story below has been corrected.
The University of Colorado student accused of raping a female student following a sorority event has been formally charged with two counts of sexual assault.
Zachary Roper, 19, was charged with sexual assault on a helpless victim, a Class 3 felony, and sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising conduct, a Class 4 felony at a hearing Thursday at the Boulder County Jail.
Class 3 felonies carry a presumptive sentence range of four to 12 years in prison, while Class 4 felonies carry a presumptive range of two to six years. But both offenses qualify for Colorado's Lifetime Supervision Act, which means if Roper were convicted and sentenced to any prison time on either count, he would not be released until he completed treatment and applied for parole.
While prosecutors said they asked for a $50,000 bond on Monday, Boulder County Judge Zachary Malkinson set bond at $5,000 with a $500 cash option, which Roper was able to post, according to court records.
Roper did not speak at the hearing Thursday. He is now scheduled for a preliminary hearing on April 4 in Boulder County Court to determine if there is enough evidence for the case against him to proceed.
Roper's attorney Dave Harrison declined to comment on the charges Thursday.
Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty could not comment on the specifics of the case and noted Roper is presumed innocent until proven guilty, but did release a statement regarding sex assault prosecution.
"Speaking in general terms, the thorough investigation and prosecution of sexual assaults is of the highest priority for our office and our community," Dougherty said in the statement. "We recognize how difficult these cases can be for victims, so we have a dedicated Sex Assault Unit with outstanding staff who are specially selected for this important work.
"Our prosecutors, DA investigators, and victim advocates do a terrific job on these cases. Our unit is widely regarded as the best in the state. Our staff work closely with law enforcement and carefully screen cases to determine the just outcome. We work tirelessly to get to the right result. We encourage victims of sex assault to come forward and report these offenses."
According to an arrest affidavit, the named victim attended a "date dash" event with the sorority to which she belonged in Loveland on Jan. 31 and was set up with Roper by another member. According to the affidavit, the woman was drinking along with Roper and others before going up to Loveland, and did not have a clear memory of most of the night.
Witnesses told police the woman was sent to the sorority house in an Uber with Roper when she became too intoxicated, but the Uber driver told police Roper changed the address from the sorority house to his own apartment during the ride.
The driver said the woman was asleep for most of the ride, and needed help getting out of the car due to her level of intoxication.
The woman said she woke up to Roper sexually assaulting her.
Another sorority member who had been told to expect the woman to arrive at the house became concerned when she never arrived, and went to Roper's apartment with several other members and found Roper sexually assaulting the woman, according to the affidavit. They got her out of the room and to a hospital for a sexual assault examination.
Roper's roommate also witnessed Roper having sex with the woman.
'We will not stand by'
The case comes at a time when sexual violence has been a much-discussed topic at CU. Proposed federal changes have led to the university examining its response to sex assault allegations, and there are several pending lawsuits against the university by men who have been expelled by the school in the wake of rape allegations.
Posters with Roper's booking photo and a description of the allegations could be seen Tuesday taped to a kiosk outside the University Memorial Center at CU. The posters also mentioned reports last year of women being reportedly drugged on University Hill, though police have since closed that case.
A protest of the university's handling of sexual violence has been also been scheduled for Monday, according to a Facebook event post.
"We are rallying on Monday at the UMC fountains to demand that the university suspend the student until his trial and expel him if found guilty," the post read. "Join us to have your voice heard, there will be speakers and an open mic for individuals to voice their opinion. Let the university know that we will not stand by and let rapists and abusers go unpunished."
CU spokeswoman Melanie Marquez Parra said federal student privacy laws prevented her from releasing any specific information on Roper's case, but said the university "is investigating the allegations that were reported."
"CU Boulder's Office of Institutional Equity and Compliance investigates every report of sexual misconduct through a fair and impartial process that respects the rights and dignity of all parties involved," Parra said in a statement. "The university is committed both to individual and community safety and provides numerous support services. It is critical that students know the university has an established process for reviewing, investigating and taking action on all reported cases of sexual assault. If a student is found responsible, sanctions for sexual misconduct include suspension or expulsion, depending on the severity of the case."