Man sexually assaults woman after giving her a ride from Denver bar

Man sexually assaults woman after giving her a ride from Denver bar

DENVER, CO – A man accused of offering women a ride home from Denver bars, then sexually assaulting them, is facing sex assault charges, and police are asking other women to come forward if they may have been attacked.

Byron L. Whitehorn, 50, was charged with sexually assaulting four women in Denver after his DNA samples matched rape-kit DNA taken from four women.

According to police, Whitehorn allegedly targeted young women as they exited LoDo bars and offered them a ride home in his 2005 Audi A4 sedan. He then allegedly sexually assaulted the women and drove them home.

In December, Denver Police issued a composite sketch of the imposter driver thought to have raped at least four women. The DA’s office confirmed that Whitehorn is the driver sought in those cases.

Whitehorn was arrested Jan. 24 and released on $500,000 bond, according to the Denver County jail inmate roster.

According to an arrest affidavit, the attacks allegedly happened between April 2017 and Dec. 14, 2018.

  • On April 9, 2017, a woman told police she was sexually assaulted after leaving a LoDo bar, where she had been socializing with friends. She told police she woke up in a car with a man on top of her, sexually assaulting her. The driver then allowed her to get dressed and drove her home, she told police. The woman went to Littleton Adventist hospital for a rape kit test.

 

  • On Oct. 14, 2017, a woman from Canada told police she went to Jackson’s bar in downtown Denver, but being unfamiliar with the area, became separated from her friends. She met up with a man she didn’t know who offered to buy her a drink. After she had consumed several drinks, the man allegedly drove her to a house where she said she passed out and woke up with her clothes off and the man sexually assaulting her. He then drove her to a friend’s home and dropped her off, she told police. The woman completed a rape kit test at Denver Health Medical Center.

 

  • On Jan. 28, 2018, a woman from Boulder told police she left a LoDo bar in the 1900 block of Market Street alone around 1 a.m. She said a man approached her, and she didn’t remember how she ended up in his car, blacking out several times. She said she woke up and found her pants and underwear were pulled down and she remembered being sexually attacked. The unknown driver took her home to Boulder after the incident, she said. She completed a rape kit test at Boulder Hospital, the arrest affidavit said.

 

  • On Dec. 14, 2018, a woman told police she was socializing at the Ginn Mill bar in the 2400 block of Larimer Street in Denver around midnight when she decided to hail an Uber to drive her home to Lakewood. After she left the bar, an unknown man approached her and asked her if she needed help. She said she was waiting for an Uber, and the man allegedly took her phone, canceled the Uber and offered to give her a ride. The woman told police she was “very intoxicated” and remembered being sexually assaulted in the man’s vehicle. Afterward, around 2 a.m., the man drove her home, she told police, then asked for her phone. He allegedly told her “Let’s do this again,” and added the name “Byron” and a phone number into her contacts. The woman completed a rape kit test at Denver Health Medical Center.

Police called Whitehorn at the number listed on the cell phone and he agreed to take a DNA test, which led to his arrest.

When police first announced they were searching for the man accused of the sex attacks, the department offered the following personal safety tips:

  • Don’t accept rides from strangers – instead plan for public transportation, taxi service or a rideshare
  • If you plan to use rideshares for transportation:
  • Make sure that the driver matches the picture, the plates match the vehicle and the driver’s service placards are visibly displayed
  • Sit in the back seat where it’s safer
  • Never ask the driver to walk you to your door or to help you bring your belongings into your home
  • Always be aware of your surroundings
  • Walk and travel in groups – there is safety in numbers
  • Avoid or limit distractions, such as cell phones and headphones, and pay attention to people approaching you
  • When enjoying Denver’s nightlife or socializing, avoid overindulging in adult beverages or goods
  • Be prepared to quickly enter your car or home by having your keys in your hand as you approach

Denver police are asking any women who may have had a similar experience with Whitehorn to contact the department at 720-913-2000.

Whitehorn’s next appearance in court is scheduled for Feb. 26, 2019.