Fort Carson Army Soldiers Noel Acevedo-Mercado and John Donathan Accused of Raping Colorado Teen; Donathan Died Just Weeks Before Trial (2014)

Fort Carson Army soldiers Spc. Noel Acevedo-Mercado, 21, and Pfc. John Donathan, 20, were charged with the rape of a 17-year-old girl on October 4, 2014 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Prosecutors alleged the pair met the girl at a party on Gold Camp Road and later attacked her in a bedroom of her home. According to an arrest affidavit, the girl said both men held her down during the assault and changed positions when one of them said “switch.” Court records indicated both Acevedo-Mercado and Donathan were freed on $50,000 bail. Three weeks before John Donathan was due to stand trial, an obituary indicated he died on March 15, 2015. The cause of death was not specified and the local coroner’s office said they were not notified. Acevedo-Mercado was scheduled for a July 12, 2015 trial on three counts of sexual assault and if convicted, Acevedo-Mercado could face up to 24 years in prison. Reports indicated that it was most likely that Acevedo-Mercado would agree to a plea agreement but no further details are available at this time.

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