Former UCD student to serve minimum of 9 years for raping fellow student in 2015

DENVER – A former University of Colorado-Denver student will serve at least nine years in prison, but could serve more, for kidnapping and raping a fellow student of his after a Halloween party in 2015.

A Denver jury found John D. Kennedy, 23, guilty in June of second-degree kidnapping-victim of a sexual offense, sexual assault-victim physically helpless, sexual assault-victim incapable of appraising nature of her conduct, and unlawful sexual contact charges.

His victim, who was 23 at the time, was unconscious after a night of partying.

Kennedy waited until some of his fellow students had left a shared hallway and transferred the woman from one apartment to his own. The woman’s friends had placed her in that certain apartment to keep her safe, according to prosecutors.

A friend noticed she was missing and discovered her across the hall in Kennedy’s room. The woman wasn’t aware she’d been moved into a different apartment or sexually assaulted, and investigators got ahold of surveillance video from the hallway that showed Kennedy moving her.

When shown there was DNA evidence and witness statements against him, Kennedy confessed to raping the girl.

Colorado law mandates indeterminate sentences for people convicted of sexual assault. Kennedy could serve between 9 years and life in prison, depending on his conduct in prison and after he is paroled, should he be.

“I thank our district attorneys and our staff and the citizens of the jury who, respectively, obtained the successful conviction and returned the guilty verdict, and I commend the victim and witnesses for their courage and determination throughout this lengthy case,” Denver District Attorney Beth McCann said.  “Today’s sentence sends the message that campus sexual assault is not ‘business as usual’ and that this is a serious criminal act.”

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