DIA rapist sentenced to 6 years to life in prison

Posted on: 3:10 pm, November 30, 2012, by , updated on: 06:03pm, November 30, 2012

DENVER – The man accused of raping a woman at Denver International Airport was sentenced Friday to six years to life in prison.

Noel Bertrand, a former Marine, was found guilty in September of raping a 22-year-old woman at DIA on April 12.

At his trial, prosecutors said Bertrand and the woman were talking at a restaurant in the airport and then moved to Concourse A when the restaurant closed around midnight.

The woman testified that Bertrand started choking her with the strings of her sweatshirt and forced her to the ground and raped her. The assault lased about half an hour.

His defense attorneys argued the sexual encounter was a case of “rough play” and that the victim consented to having sex with him.

However, the jury agreed with prosecutors that Bertrand in fact attacked her by showing the jury evidence that the woman refused to kiss Bertrand and that she could not cry out because the attack triggered an asthma attack.

Two airline mechanics were able to rescue the woman by pulling Bertrand off her.

According to the Denver Post, sexual assaults like this one are given an indeterminate sentence in Colorado. Judges usually pick the number of years after which the offender can be released if they successfully complete therapies while in prison.  A cap is set a life in prison. 

Bertrand served as a Marine and worked security details at U.S. embassies in Dublin, Caracas and Doha.