(NationRise.com) – The Ouray County Plaindealer, a small-county newspaper in Colorado, reported the theft of hundreds of copies of a paper covering an alleged rape by the police chief’s son.
The paper was initially printed and distributed on January 18th. It detailed the harrowing account of a 17-year-old girl who said she was raped by three teen boys during a party at the police chief’s house. She also stated that she screamed and fought back as the parents slept upstairs.
The girl, whose identity has not been revealed, said she struggled to remain conscious during the altercation, which allegedly included three separate attacks. Those statements were included in an arrest affidavit, which also detailed alcohol consumption by minors.
The papers were stolen from most of the county’s racks. The story was featured on the front page, making it clearly visible from the display. The papers were returned several hours later by 41-year-old Paul Choate after he confessed to stealing the publications. He was cited for petty theft.
Choate is not believed to have any affiliation with the police chief, department, or those involved in the investigation. The publisher reprinted 250 copies before the stolen ones were returned, which were also distributed the following day.
The incident allegedly took place during a birthday party for Ashton Whittington, who had just turned 18, and Nate Dieffenderffer, the police chief’s stepson, was turning 18 shortly after. Their friend, 19-year-old Gabriel Trujillo, was also in attendance. All three are accused of attacking the girl and have been arrested. Their DNA was found on the girl after a medical examination.
The case is being investigated by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, possibly to avoid conflicts of interest with local police. The victim was initially hesitant to report the alleged crime and cooperate with officials, given the accuser’s relationship with the police chief. She also accused Dieffenderffer and Trujillo of assaulting her on a separate occasion in August 2021. Both teens insist the encounter was consensual.
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