Rape Reported At Houston Mesa Campground

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Mountain Lion Loop, space 21, at the Houston Mesa Campground, was the scene of what police are calling a sexual assault early Sunday morning.

Police dispatch received a call from a camper around 1:30 a.m. stating they heard a woman screaming that she had been raped, and that there were several males threatening each other with knives and guns.

Within two minutes, several police cars arrived at the scene.

"I heard police yelling ‘get down on the ground!'" described a nearby camper who wished not to be named.

At the scene, the alleged victim stated that she had been raped by an 18-year-old who was camping with them.

Police Det. Matt Van Camp was called out around 2 a.m. to process the crime scene and interview witnesses.

"The woman and her boyfriend went into the tent they shared and she awoke to (the friend) assaulting her," Van Camp said.

Van Camp said the alleged perpetrator was a mutual friend who came up with them from Phoenix.

Evidence at the campsite showed ample alcohol consumption, Van Camp added.

The victim was taken to Payson Regional Medical Center where police were able to obtain evidence they believe will show that a sexual assault occurred.

Police also did extensive evidence collection at the crime scene.

"The victim, the boyfriend and the suspect all voluntarily supplied us DNA samples to compare to the evidence we collected," Van Camp said.

According to Van Camp, the alleged suspect claims he is innocent.

"The suspect told us that the reason he was in the tent was that he heard the coyotes outside his tent so he got scared and went into their tent," Van Camp said. "He claims he was given permission, but the victim and the boyfriend said he was not allowed in their tent.

"He claims he doesn't know what happen and that he didn't do anything wrong."

Van Camp said the suspect was taken to the Globe jail and released to a third party from Phoenix Monday.

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