Man Gets 32 Years for Sexually Assaulting Girlfriend

Published on September 26, 2017

Robert Merrill

GREELEY, Colo. (Weld County D.A.) – Before handing down a lengthy sentence against a man convicted of sexually assaulting his girlfriend, a Weld County judge said it was one of the worst cases she has seen on the bench.

Weld County District Court Judge Julie Hoskins sentenced Robert Merrill, 22, to 32 years in prison, followed by 10 years of Sex Offender Intensive Supervision Program (SOISP). Merrill pleaded guilty in May to first-degree assault and criminal attempt to commit sexual assault.

“The defendant deserves every second of this sentence,” said Deputy District Attorney Arynn Clark, who prosecuted the case. “He beat her. He strangled her. He vandalized her body and threatened to kill her. He tormented her as she begged for help. For at least the next four decades, he will pay for the terror he inflicted on this young woman’s life.”

According to the affidavit, Merrill and his girlfriend were at their apartment when he began choking and punching her because of their recent break up. The victim said he hit her several times in the face, resulting in a broken nose and petechiae in one of her eyes. He then continued his assault by forcibly raping and sodomizing her. The victim believed “the safest course of action was to comply with the defendant,” or she feared he would kill her, according to police reports.

As soon as she could, the victim, naked and covered in blood, ran out of the apartment to get help at a nearby hotel. Merrill was arrested shortly after. Greeley police officers later described the scene as “extremely bloody,” pointing to the blood-stained couch, floors and walls.

“I particularly want to commend the efforts and the professionalism of the Greeley police officers and detectives who invested so much time in this case,” said District Attorney Michael Rourke. “Their investigation ensured a guilty verdict, putting this defendant behind bars for many years to come.”

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