A man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in Boulder he met through a dating app has been convicted of sexual assault.
Drelan Lovato, 24, was found guilty Friday on one count of sexual assault by force or threat following a three day trial, according to court records.
Lovato is now set for sentencing on July 23. Sexual assault is subject to Colorado indeterminate sentencing laws, which means Lovato could essentially be facing life in prison if a judge were to sentence him to prison.
Lovato remains free on a $10,000 personal recognizance bond pending a pre-sentence investigaiton and sex offender evaluation.
“Our office will provide further comments after the sentencing hearing is held, but we want to acknowledge the courage of the victim in coming forward to report this sex assault,” Boulder County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Shannon Carbone said in a statement Monday. “Because of her, this defendant is being held accountable. April is Sex Assault Awareness Month and, as demonstrated by this guilty verdict, it is so important for victims to know we are here to support them and to pursue justice in sex assault cases. Also, we appreciate the jury’s service”
According to an arrest affidavit, a woman called Boulder police on Sept. 25, 2019, and said she had been sexually assaulted by a Denver man she met through a dating app called Plenty of Fish.
The woman told police she started communicating with the man on Sept. 19, 2019, and that he came over to her place in Boulder the next day. The woman told police she had previously told the man she was OK with cuddling and “fooling around” but made it clear to him she did not want to have sex.
The woman said they were kissing but the man then sexually assaulted her while she told him to stop and tried to push him off. When he did get off of her, the man told her, “Well if you’re gonna want to fool around, then I’m gonna want sex.”
Boulder police called the number of the suspect and found it belonged to Lovato, and a detective interviewed him on Oct. 24. Lovato denied knowing or messaging the woman, being in Boulder at the time of the reported assault, or having a Plenty of Fish account.
But police were able to track Lovato’s cell phone location data to the area where the alleged assault took place and also found his Plenty of Fish profile, according to the affidavit.
When confronted with the information about his profile, Lovato claimed it was his friends messaging the woman or someone using a picture of him for the profile.