Jurors in Denver have convicted a former U.S. Marine embassy guard of sexually assaulting a woman at a Denver International Airport concourse in April.
Noel Bertrand, 27, of Portland, Ore., was found guilty of felony sexual assault, which carries a penalty of up to life in prison.
His lawyer had argued that that the woman had consensual sex with Bertrand then regretted it.
Bertrand and the victim met in April of last year after both missed flights. Concourse A was largely deserted just after midnight, the time when the crime took place.
The victim testified that after having drinks, the two moved to an airport concourse where he attacked her after she refused a kiss. She told jurors that Bertrand told her she was his sex slave and that he was going to teach her to feel pressure from pain. He then, she said, pinned her head to her shoulder by grabbing her hair.
She said Bertrand eventually got her sweatpants down and raped her. She said he slammed her head to the ground so many times to keep her subdued that she became dizzy, had blurry vision and trouble hearing.
Two airline mechanics intervened when they saw her struggling.
Bertrand served on Marine security details at U.S. embassies in Dublin, Ireland; Caracas, Venezuela; and Doha, Qatar.
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