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Man Charged with Raping Woman at Denver Airport

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By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on April 21, 2011 6:59 AM

A Portland, Oregon man was charged by Denver prosecutors with one count of sexual assault this week after he allegedly raped a woman in an empty concourse at the Denver International Airport.

The Man, Noel Bertrand, was caught in the act by two airport employees, but the victim claims that at least three other employees witnessed the alleged rape and did nothing.

The victim, who had missed her flight, had decided to spend the night at the Denver airport. She told a local news station that Noel Bertrand had chatted her up in an airport restaurant and then proceeded to follow her to an empty gate, reports the Associated Press. It was just after midnight.

When she rebuffed his kiss, she alleges that he hit and choked her, and then raped her, reports KPTV.

Airport security cameras show at least three people passing by the gate where the alleged rape took place, notes the Associated Press. At least one is shown looking directly at the area and then walking away.

Eventually two employees witnessed the events, and according to KPTV, they called police while restraining Noel Bertrand.

Ordinarily, there is no duty for a witness to intervene and stop a crime or call police. However, the relationship between a business and a patron oftentimes necessitates that a business protect its patrons--even from outside persons committing criminal acts.

At the very least, it's likely that the airport, if the people who walked by actually are employees, owed the victim a duty to, at the very least, call police when they witnessed the alleged rape.

There's no word yet on a lawsuit against the airport, but if the allegations prove true, expect one soon.

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