DENVER – Denver Police say a sexual predator is off the streets. Investigators used DNA to link 50-year-old Byron Whitehorn to four separate sex assaults in Downtown Denver.
Police believe Whitehorn preyed on drunk women coming out of popular bars in LoDo. Offices say he would offer them a ride home, then force them to have sex in his car. Police believe there could be more victims out there and encourage others to come forward.
Young women flock to the lively bar scene in LoDo, but recently their sense of security has been shattered.
“During the day it seems safe but at night, I stay away from here,” Katie Jackson said.
Whitehorn has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting several intoxicated women over the past two years.
“Just really terrifying,” Sheree’ah Graves said.
The most recent assault happened last month. According to court documents, Whitehorn approached a woman coming out of Gin Mill off Larimer on December 14th. She was drunk and alone.
When she said she was waiting for an Uber, Whitehorn allegedly grabbed her phone, cancelled her ride, and told her to get in his car.
Police say Whitehorn forced her to have sex then dropped her off at her home. He said “lets do this again” then added his phone number and the name “Byron” to her cell phone.
When the victim reported the assault to police, officers called that number for Byron. Investigators said Whitehorn denied raping the woman and told them he only goes out on the weekends with friends to “meet girls and make out with them.” But police didn’t buy it.
His Facebook picture matched the sketch of the man they had been looking for. Officers called Whitehorn again on January 3, 2019, and informed him that a court order had been signed by a judge for his saliva sample.
Whitehorn came down to DPD headquarters to provide buccal samples. A DNA analysis was expedited, and police say his profile was a match – his DNA found on four different women.
One victim was sexually assaulted after leaving LoDo’s Bar and Grill on April 9, 2017. Another was sexually assaulted on October 14, 2017 after leaving Jackson’s LoDo. A
third woman was sexually assaulted on January 28, 2018 after leaving LoDo’s Bar & Grill. The fourth victim reported being assaulted after leaving Gin Mill on December 14, 2018.
This pattern is unnerving for some women who live and work in the area.
“I go to nursing school right there, down the street. There’s a lot of young girls here who don’t know the area like myself, and for someone to be praying on us, that’s insane,” Graves said.
Whitehorn is currently in custody. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at the end of February.AlertMe