Westword Reporter Won't Face Stalking Charges

Couple Refuses To Press Charges Against Holthouse

A reporter for the Denver-based weekly Westword, who was arrested on suspicion of stalking a man that he said raped him in 1978, will not face charges.

The district attorney for Adams and Broomfield counties announced Thursday that he has decided not to pursue charges against writer David Holthouse, 33, and his friend, Nelson Guanipa, 29, after the couple they were accused of stalking indicated that they do not want stalking charges to be filed.

"They do not wish to participate in any prosecution against those men. Without their full cooperation, it is unlikely that a conviction could be attained," Assistant District Attorney Steve Bernard said.

Guanipa, whose license had been previously suspended, will still be charged with driving under suspension.

Holthouse had written in a May 13 Westword cover story that he had been raped by a teenager when he was a 7-year-old boy in Alaska. He said that when he discovered that the teenager had grown up to be a man who now lived in Broomfield, he bought an illegal gun and initially plotted to kill his assailant.

"I was going to watch him writhe like a poisoned cockroach for a few seconds, then kick him onto his stomach and put three bullets in the back of his head. This time last year I had a gun, and a silencer, and a plan," Holthouse wrote.

But when the man admitted his responsibility for the abuse and apologized for it in a meeting, Holthouse wrote that he abandoned his murderous intent and forgave the man, based upon the man's statement that he had not abused any other children.

Holthouse also wrote the man a personal letter after the meeting detailing some of what he wrote in the article and adding that if the man had lied about not abusing other children, then he was "going down," the district attorney said.

Then on May 29, the man's wife noticed a car following her as she was running some errands. She told her husband about the car and he saw it drive by slowly several times, Bernard said. Then a stranger walked by the house several times and looked inside. The man, his wife and their child got into their car to visit a relative and saw the same car parked nearby. The car followed them as they drove off, they said.

The couple wrote down the car's license plate number and reported the incident to the Broomfield Police Department and reported these events.

Police determined that the driver of the car was Guanipa, who had been asked by David Holthouse to watch the man, the district attorney said.

Holthouse said his mother sent letters to the alleged rapist's neighbors warning them of the man's past and feared retaliation against his parents. Holthouse told Guanipa he was concerned that the man might be a threat to Holthouse or his family.

"Under Colorado law, the crime of stalking can be committed if one person makes a credible threat to another and, in connection with that threat, repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts or places under surveillance that person or a member of his immediate family. In this situation, the elements of that crime were technically met, as the statements in the article and letter, when combined with the car following the man and his wife around at Holthouse's request, could reasonably be construed as threats and conduct that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear for his safety or the safety of his family," said Bernard.

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