Trial For Homeless Man Accused of Rape Winding Down

The trial of a homeless man accused of kidnapping and raping a hitch–hiker in Mesa County continued Wednesday. The Prosecution called several local law enforcement officers in to testify, and ended up resting their case just shortly after 2:30 p.m. The defense also rested their case after the defendant, Merle Eaton, announced on record that he would not be testifying. Merle Eaton is charged with three counts of sexual assault.. Second degree kidnapping, menacing and assault in the third degree. However this afternoon the DA's Office dropped the menacing charge after the defense argued for an acquittal on it, saying there was no proof Eaton ever had a deadly weapon particularly a gun.
Merle Eaton is accused of offering the alleged victim a ride, hitting her in the face and raping her on a dirt road before she says she escaped and ran into a business off the of I-70 Business Loop. The Prosecution was never able to serve the alleged victim with a subpoena because she has since disappeared. This is the first time the District Attorney's Office has prosecuted someone for sexual assault without a victim.
Tomorrow morning the Prosecution and Defense will deliver their closing arguments.


KKCO NBC 11 News
2531 Blichmann Avenue
Grand Junction, CO 81505

Station Phone: 970.243.1111
Business Fax: 970.243.1770
Newsroom Fax: 970.245.3793
News Tip & Contest Line: 970.255.8477
Copyright © 2002-2016 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 3053361 - nbc11news.com/a?a=3053361
Gray Television, Inc.