Air Force Academy Cadet Convicted of Rape

Daniel RyersonDaniel Ryerson

By Mitchell Byars | Daily Camera

A former Air Force cadet convicted of raping a fellow cadet while the two attended a party in Boulder in 2014 was sentenced to jail and intensive probation Tuesday — but was spared a prison term for the crime.

Boulder District Judge Judith LaBuda sentenced Daniel Ryerson, 22, to six months in the Boulder County Jail and 10 years to life on sex-offender intensive supervised probation.

Ryerson was taken into custody following the hearing. Once released from jail, he will have to comply with treatment before he can be released from probation, and he must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

LaBuda could have sentenced Ryerson to up to six years in prison, which could have turned into a life sentence under Colorado’s indeterminate sentencing law for sex crimes.

“I lack the mitigating circumstances of remorse on your part in this case,” LaBuda told Ryerson. “Despite all that, I find that you have many redeemable qualities that could still permit you to be a functioning member of society in a positive manner if and when you accept responsibility for the crime that you committed: the rape of somebody who trusted you.”

Ryerson was convicted by a Boulder County jury in October of sexual assault on a victim incapable of appraising her condition. He was acquitted, however, of sexual assault on a physically helpless victim and second-degree kidnapping.

According to prosecutors, Ryerson and the victim came to Boulder to try to find some parties to attend on Nov. 1, 2014. Prosecutors said the victim got drunk, and Ryerson took her into a bathroom and raped her during a party.

A forensic examination found injuries consistent with sexual assault, and Ryerson’s DNA also was found during the examination.

The victim in the case appeared at the sentencing hearing and said that finding out that the man who raped her was not a stranger in Boulder, but a person she knew, added to the anguish.

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