|News Media Update||COLORADO||Newsgathering|
Reporter arrested on suspicion of stalking story subject
- Alternative weekly reporter David Holthouse, who wrote an article last month about being raped as a child, was arrested for suspicion of stalking his alleged attacker.
June 3, 2004 — A Denver reporter who wrote an article last month about being raped as a child was arrested Saturday on suspicion of stalking his alleged attacker.
In an article that appeared May 13 in the Denver-based alternative weekly newspaper Westword, David Holthouse, 33, described being raped at knife-point when he was 7 years old by the teenage son of his parents’ friends. His family was living in Anchorage, Alaska, at the time.
In an article titled “Stalking the Bogeyman: Coming to grips with the killer inside me,” Holthouse, a staff reporter, wrote that he had once planned to kill the man who allegedly raped him.
“This time last year, I had a gun, and a silencer, and a plan,” Holthouse wrote.
He said he changed his mind after talking to his parents, who learned about the incident last September from an entry in Holthouse’s childhood diary dated three years after the alleged rape.
Instead, Holthouse wrote, he confronted his alleged attacker in a face-to-face meeting in Denver May 5. The man apologized and told Holthouse he was his only victim, according to the article, which never identifies the man.
Holthouse told The Associated Press on Monday that he feared retaliation against his parents, who still live in Anchorage, because his mother sent letters to neighbors of the alleged rapist in Broomfield, Colo., warning them of the man’s past. Holthouse asked a friend, Manuel Guanipa, to watch the man on Friday, May 28.
Guanipa was arrested in Broomfield the following day on suspicion of stalking, and Holthouse was arrested on the felony stalking charge when he attempted to post bail for Guanipa.
Holthouse told the AP he believes he was arrested because of the article. Holthouse and Guanipa were released from jail on a $2,500 bond and are scheduled to appear in court July 1.
“Any charges against me are essentially charges of thought crimes,” Holthouse told the AP.
Holthouse did not return phone calls or an e-mail message for comment. Westword editor Patricia Calhoun said she was fielding Holthouse’s phone calls because he was “overwhelmed” by all the attention.
Bob Grant, a district attorney for Broomfield and Adams counties who will likely prosecute the case, told The Denver Post that Holthouse was arrested for “investigation of harassment by stalking,” not for what was written in the article.
“People don’t get arrested for what they write or what they think,” Grant said. “They get arrested for what they do.” Grant said he read the story and found nothing in it that is illegal.
The Broomfield Police Department would not release the police report or give further details about the case because it is still under investigation.
Calhoun said Holthouse’s article has triggered letters of support since it was published and got nationwide media attention when it was republished as a two-part series in the Anchorage Daily News May 30 and 31.
© 2004 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press