A Pueblo teen accused of raping a CSU student at knifepoint nearly two years ago pled guilty last week.
Andrew Montano – who was 17 when he was arrested and charged for rape – is facing 23 years in prison after pleading guilty on Jan. 22. The plea came just days before his trial was set to begin for the alleged rape of the 19-year-old female CSU student.
Although the alleged rape did not take place on campus, the news serves as a dismal reminder to some campus goers.
There have been 39 reported sexual assaults on the CSU campus since 2001, with 20 in 2002 alone.
Although rape is a crime experienced by a high percentage of women, nearly 60 percent of rapes go unreported.
Jennifer Krafchick, assistant director of women’s program and studies, says many victims may not report their cases in fear of retaliation or others knowing.
“There is a fear of the social ramifications, which for college students, can be huge,” Krafchick said.
It is common for rape cases as well as other criminal cases to take years to go to trial, according to Mike Hogan, a professor of sociology with a specialty in criminology.
“Rape is one of the most serious crimes,” Hogan said. “The more serious the crime, the more preparation it takes on both sides.”
Montano’s decision to plead guilty and avoid going to trial, however, is the way 95 percent of criminal cases end, Hogan says.
But it’s the victims that often have the hardest time in rape trials, as they often pose great challenges for prosecutors, Hogan says.
“Trials are so rare in general,” Hogan said. “Rape cases have a better chance of going to trial than other crimes because they are relatively easy to defend.”
According to the Rape Abuse and Incest National Network, one in six women will be raped at some point during her life.
And One in four women will be raped at some point between her sophomore years of high school and college, Krafchick said.
CSU offers a variety of services to keep students safe and help those who have been assaulted.
Students can take advantage of Safe Walk, a free transport service that offers company in late-night walks. The office of Women’s Programs and Studies also offers resources for students to learn about safety and what to do if they fall victim to sexual assault.
Students are encouraged to use the CSU Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team if they are the victim of a sexual attack.
“At CSU we have extraordinary resources,” Krafchick said. “I don’t think that is the case in all communities.”
And some students agree.
“I’m from Chicago, so I feel pretty good about my safety in Fort Collins,” Smith said.
If you or someone you care about has been the victim of a sexual assault please call the Colorado State University Sexual Assault Victim Assistance Team 24 hours a day at 491-7111 and ask for a victim assistance team advocate.
Staff writer Emily Polak can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network
-1 in 6 women is raped sometime in her life
-There is a rape every 6 minutes
-44% of victims are under 18, 80% under 30
-59% of rapes go unreported
-73% of rape victims know their attacker