Glenwood man gets 41 years for assaulting elderly woman |

Glenwood man gets 41 years for assaulting elderly woman

John Gardner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Dale R. Loper

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” A man convicted of sexually assaulting an elderly Glenwood Springs, Colorado woman will spend the next 41 years in prison.

Ninth Judicial District Court Judge Daniel Petre sentenced Dale R. Loper, 32, on Friday at the Garfield County Courthouse.

Loper, originally from New Mexico, was living in Glenwood Springs at the time of the incident and arrest. He was convicted on seven felony counts including sexual assault, first-degree burglary with a deadly weapon, and first-degree assault. In May 2008, Loper broke into a 74-year-old Glenwood woman’s home and sexually assaulted her at knifepoint, while the victim’s mother, who is in her 90s, slept in the other room.

He was also convicted on counts of possession of a weapon on school grounds and attempted second-degree burglary in another related case.

“A person who could do this to one person, would do this to any person,” Petre said. “The court found this case very serious.”

Assistant District Attorney Jeff Cheney told the court in his closing statements that he hopes the community and the victim can sleep more soundly knowing that Loper is locked away.

“I must think about the victim,” Cheney said. “The victim that goes to bed at the scene of the crime. The victim that gets up every morning at the scene of the crime. The victim who arose to be here today. The victim deserves to know that he will be in jail for 41 years.”

Loper was arrested July 20, 2008, by Glenwood Springs police after a man reported that Loper attempted to enter a room in his house where his 8- and 15-year-old daughters were sleeping. Police found Loper lying behind a fenced-in trash area, 100 yards from the residence, near Glenwood Middle School. Police found Loper with a 6-inch kitchen knife, a small flashlight, a jar of Vaseline and a blue bandana, according to an arrest affidavit.

DNA evidence matched Loper to the May 29 assault.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Loper entered the woman’s residence and forcibly assaulted her. The woman told authorities that Loper held her down, covered her mouth with his hand, and told her repeatedly, “Don’t scream or I’ll kill you.”

Cheney, in his closing statement, told the court that the sentence was very fitting for the heinous crime.

“Everyone in this room deserves to know that this most egregious criminal behavior will be punished harshly,” Cheney said. “Particularly of a man who fails to accept any actual responsibility for violating another fellow human being in the most intrusive and violent manner.”

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