by Aaron Brom
ECM Sun Newspapers
A 22-year-old Canadian male has been charged with raping a fellow wedding party guest at a Rogers hotel.
Zehyd Philosophy Buerstatte is currently in jail on $100,000 bail after having been charged with third-degree felony criminal sex conduct, with force or coercion.
“He argues it was consensual; she is saying it wasn’t consensual,” Rogers Police Chief Jeff Beahen said. “We did a good job investigating and getting search warrants and putting a case together. It’s up to the judicial system to decide the charges.”
Charges allege that Buerstatte “engaged in sexual penetration with the victim, using force or coercion.”
The charges say the victim reported a rape to Rogers Police. She said she had been at a wedding, and after the wedding, numerous guests had gone to the Hampton Inn to continue to celebrate and were talking and drinking alcohol.
The victim said she had gone with another wedding guest, Buerstatte, to his hotel room so he could get something. The victim said that when they reached the defendant’s room, he shut the door and locked it, and the victim told him that she wanted to go and asked to be let out.
“At that time, the defendant pulled the victim’s dress off of her and pushed her onto the bed,” the charges read. “The defendant held the victim’s arms down and got on top of her, and had sexual intercourse with victim. When defendant stopped and reached for something, Victim grabbed her clothing and ran out of the room.”
In a post-Miranda statement, Buerstatte admitted he had sexual intercourse with victim but claimed it was consensual.
The victim participated in a Sexual Assault Resources Service exam.
“They took a lot of evidence,” Beahen said. “We go with what the victim said and move forward. The attorney will present the case as best as possible.”
The maximum sentence is 15 years and a $30,000 fine plus conditional release.