DES MOINES (AP) — A former Drake University student was convicted Friday of repeatedly drugging and sexually assaulting a fraternity brother.
Polk County Judge Scott Rosenberg found Anthony Bertolone, 22, of Leawood, Kan., guilty on five counts of third-degree sexual assault. He faces up to 50 years in prison when he is sentenced June 18.
Bertolone was accused of using an unidentified drug on a Sigma Chi fraternity brother and sexually assaulting him without the man’s knowledge for more than seven months in 2010. He was arrested in August 2010 after his friend discovered photos and videos on Bertolone’s computer.
Authorities said more than 160 photos and videos were found on Bertolone’s computer. The videos, apparently shot mostly with an iPhone and a flashlight, depict sexual activity on a generally motionless man — in many cases, with snoring in the background.
“Clearly, the evidence shows in the numerous videos observed by the court that consent of any kind was totally absent,” Rosenberg wrote in a 15-page decision, part of which was read in court.
“Not only does the court find the victim’s testimony to be totally credible in regard to the issue of consent, but the videos themselves show that consent did not occur. Indeed, the videos appear to have been done surreptitiously, without knowledge by the victim and while the victim was incapacitated, asleep, unconscious or totally unaware of what was occurring,” the judge added.
Bertolone and his family sat silently when the verdict was read in court, the Register reported. Bertolone was taken immediately to jail. Neither the victim nor his family was present.
“We’ll just have to take a look at the ruling and see whether or not we’re going to go forward with an appeal,” defense attorney Alfredo Parrish said.
The victim testified during Bertolone’s bench trial in April that they were friends and had taken several trips where the two had shared the same bed, for financial reasons. But the man said he never consented to sex and was unaware of any sexual activity until July 2010, when he borrowed Bertolone’s computer while they were vacationing with Bertolone’s family in Missouri.
Bertolone insisted in his testimony that they had a consensual relationship for nearly a year before he was arrested.
Rosenberg said that Bertolone’s talk of a consensual relationship “lacks credibility” and that “no consensual sex acts appear to have occurred between the defendant and the victim or any others who engaged in this practice” of sharing beds on trips.