DENVER (CBS4) – A detective testified in Denver court Thursday that the victim in April’s assault at Denver International Airport was headed to Illinois to become a nun.
Noel Bertrand, 26, of Portland, is accused of raping the woman on the largely deserted A Concourse just after midnight on April 12. Testimony for the preliminary hearing for the former Marine was presented Thursday morning, as well as pictures of physical injuries to the woman.
She suffered a swollen left eye and bruises to her hand. She told police her head was slammed into the ground during the attack.
Bertrand claims the sex was consensual.
The victim told police she had met the suspect at a bar and they had struck up a conversation over drinks about faith and morals.
Denver Police Detective Edward David testified that the two walked from the bar to the gate together and talked for another 20 minutes. The victim told police that when they changed seats and moved closer to the window, that is when Betrand did a, “180 turn. A Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde change,” testified David.
Police say Bertrand was spotted by surveillance cameras walking with the woman to a gate area. Although the incident that followed wasn’t captured by security cameras, the tapes of the suspect and the victim together are expected to be used as evidence by prosecutors.
The detective who interviewed Bertrand following the incident said Bertrand’s first comment was that he was a Marine recently discharged and that the incident would damage his image. Bertrand also told police he prefers a dominant-submissive role and believed the woman wanted to be submissive.
Two Frontier mechanics — Kris Musil and Mark Adams — were out on the tarmac and said they then saw the violent situation going on inside the concourse. They called 911 and quickly made their way inside.
“She was down on ground when we first got there. That’s when saw him take one last swing at her,” Musil said last month during a ceremony where Denver police honored the two mechanics.
Musil and Adams say they intervened and took command of the situation until police arrived.
They said the victim was very shaken up and that she was having an asthma attack when they arrived. They helped her find her inhaler in her luggage.
“She mouthed ‘Thank you’ to us when he finally let her go,” Musil said.
The Denver Post reported that Bertrand was a Marine for about 6 years, from 2003 to 2009, and that he won the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal.
Bertrand’s attorney pointed out there were inconsistencies between what the victim told police following the incident, and then later to hospital staff who examined her. The defense also pointed out there were statements from other witnesses who passed by telling police they though the two were a couple.
Bertrand described the incident to detectives as “animal attraction,” that “it was heated,” and that he knows how to “read women” and this particular woman “was resisting,” which told him that she wanted it.
Bertrand is due back on court August 8 for arraignment.
At last month’s ceremony Denver police gave the two mechanics a special commendation and the Daniels Fund gave $1,000, calling them heroes. Watch that report in the video clip below:
“I couldn’t imagine somebody not intervening and helping her,” Adams said.