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A former University of Colorado Boulder student was found guilty Friday of raping a female student after a sorority event last year.

Zachary Roper, 21, was convicted Friday of sexual assault on a helpless victim, a Class 3 felony, and sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising conduct, a Class 4 felony, according to Boulder District Attorney spokeswoman Shannon Carbone.

Zachary Roper ...
Courtesy photo
Zachary Roper

“The People want to thank the survivor for her bravery in reporting and testifying in this case,” Boulder Senior Deputy District Attorney Laura Kinde said in a statement. “The allegations in this case are extremely serious and her trust in our office allowed us to secure the just verdict. The People also want to thank the Boulder Police Department for their outstanding response and investigation and the jury for their time and deliberations.”

Roper is set for sentencing on Jan. 8. He is facing four to 12 years in prison on the Class 3 felony and two to six years on the Class 4 felony. But both crimes also fall under Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing laws for sex offenses, which means Roper would have to complete sex offender treatment before he could be released from prison even after the sentence has been completed.

Over the objection of prosecutors, Roper will be allowed to remain out of custody until his sentencing hearing.

“Sex assault cases are a priority for our office,” Boulder District Attorney Michael Dougherty said in a statement. “Because of the survivor’s courage and the terrific work of the Boulder Police Department, this defendant is being held fully accountable.  We are grateful to the jurors for their service. I appreciate the hard work that the prosecution team put into this case; they worked through significant obstacles and ensured that justice was done for this victim and our community.”

According to an arrest affidavit, the named victim was in a sorority and attended a “date dash” event in Loveland on Jan. 31, 2019, in which members were asked to bring a date.

The woman was set up with Roper by another member but had never met him before the event. According to the affidavit, the woman was drinking with Roper and others before going up to Loveland, and did not have a clear memory of most of the night.

The woman said the next thing she remembered after drinking was waking up with Roper sexually assaulting her.

Witnesses told police the woman was sent to the sorority house in an Uber with Roper when she became too intoxicated, per the sorority’s policy. 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 because of her level of intoxication.

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.

The women told police they walked into Roper’s bedroom to find him sexually assaulting the woman, and got her out of the room and to a hospital for a sexual assault examination.

Roper’s roommate also told police he witnessed Roper having sex with the named victim.

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