Two soldiers are accused of raping a Colorado Springs high school student at a party last fall.
If convicted, both men could face years behind bars.
According to the arrest affidavit obtained this week by our partners at The Gazette, a group of teens were hanging out at a spot along Gold Camp Road west of the Springs on the night of Oct. 4. That's where investigators say the 17-year-old victim first met Spc. Noel Acevedo-Mercado and Pvt. 1st Class John Donathan.
At some point, the party moved to the victim's house. As the night wore on, investigators say the victim started feeling sick from drinking half a bottle of whiskey and went upstairs. The soldiers allegedly followed her. According to the affidavit, the men took turns sexually assaulting her. The victim told investigators that after several unsuccessful attempts at stopping the rape, she was finally able to get away after convincing them she needed to check on the house.
The affidavit states that another guest found the victim collapsed in tears in a hallway.
When reporting the incident the next day, police say the victim couldn't remember the soldiers' names but was able to give descriptions and nicknames. Authorities say they got a break in the case after one of the party-goers recorded a phone conversation with Acevedo-Mercado, during which the soldier allegedly expressed regret over the sexual assault.
Acevedo-Mercado, 20, and Donathan, 19, were both arrested in February and released on a $50,000 bond. They'll be back in court for a preliminary hearing on May 4.
Army records show both men enlisted in the Army in 2013 and are stationed at Fort Carson. Neither soldier has deployed to war.