News

Actions

Rape survivor fights back, encourages others to do the same

Posted: 9:02 PM, Apr 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-04-26 23:02:19-04

Roxanne Blevins is a rape survivor. 

"I will never talk the same. I’ll never walk the same. Nothing’s ever going to be the same. But… I don’t want to lose faith," Roxanne Blevins said.

She was divorced after two decades of marriage and decided to get back in the dating game. Like a lot of people she tried online dating.

"We met through Bumble. We chatted for hours for a few days," Blevins said.

Blevins said she and Jason Matthew Karr then talked on the phone for hours. Then they met in Woodland Park back in May 2017 for a whirlwind three days. He met her friends and some family. He even helped her around the house.

"He went to the movies with us then his car didn’t start. We had a big snowstorm and he ended up staying at my house because he couldn’t leave," Blevins said.

In an exclusive interview with Elizabeth Watts, Blevins said she witnessed some red flags but brushed it off. He was helping her fix up the house and being a companion.

"I was happy, because somebody actually understood me and got who I was. I had been through other stuff before," Blevins said.

At one point though, she decided he was too much for her. She’s a single mother living paycheck to paycheck and wanted something simple. She told him he needed to leave, but he didn’t.

"He said let me get my tools, they were in my room, so I said I’ll get them. And he followed me and locked the door behind me. And he proceeded to… tear me apart," Blevins cried remembering the horrific experience, "He kind of just took my breath away. He was strangling me and I was almost gone, I could see lights, I couldn’t breathe." 

Blevins said she cried and begged for him to stop. She stared at the clock on her wall as an hour and fifteen minutes passed by.

"It’s the worst thing I’ve ever been through in my life, and I’ve kind of been through a lot," she said. 

She was held captive in her home for hours. The next day she was able to escape. She ended up at Memorial Hospital where they have nurses that specialize in forensic medical exams that can be used in rape trials. 

Her injuries were severe, "I remember them telling me I was hurt so bad, that I had to come back in a week. Because everything was bruised and bleeding." 

"I sat in my car for several hours thinking what did I just do. Everyone’s going to think bad of me… and a lot of people did," Blevins said.

Sadly she faced a lot of judgment from outsiders when she told her story, but that didn’t stop her from fighting back.

Teller County Sheriff’s deputies were on the case and just a few days later Jason Matthew Karr was arrested in Weld County on suspicion of sexual assault, false imprisonment, third degree assault and domestic violence.

TESSA advocates helped Blevins with counseling, her bills and navigating the legal system where she relived her horror over and over. 

Karr pleaded not guilty.

Thanks to Blevin’s evidence, Karr was found guilty and sentenced in Teller County to at least 4 years in prison plus at least 20 years of sex offender probation.

Unusual, considering Rape Abuse and Incest National Network stats show out of a thousand rapists, only six will serve time. 

"Unfortunately most rapists walk free," TESSA Executive Director Sherrylynn Boyles said.

Boyles attributes many reasons for that. People will say the predator: made a mistake, is sorry, was drunk, has a bright future. Then they blame the victims: she dressed a certain way, she asked for it. 

Victims are put through the wringer in court, and most juries will find the defendant not guilty. So many just don’t come forward, thinking ‘why go through it at all?’

"There’s a lot of victim blaming in these cases. People put the responsibility on them. We don’t see that in other kinds of crimes. But we do that with sex assault," Boyles said.

Boyles said statistics show violators will strike again as they continue to prey on victim’s trust and vulnerabilities.

"Most rapists are serial rapists. It’s not a one time ‘I was drunk’ thing. They’re usually going after people again and again and again," Boyles said, "That’s a threat to our community. It’s not sending the right signal about how serious we take this. It’s not supporting victims."  

News 5 found at least one other violent crime in Karr’s past. Blevins said she will never be the same, but she’s thankful he’s locked up so he can’t hurt anyone else.

Blevins came forward to break the stigma for victims and empower them to come forward and fight back. 

Boyles praises Blevins and any other victim for speaking out. She said the "Me Too" movement started to help more victims come forward, not because the celebrities spoke out, but because people finally believed them. She said when survivor’s speak it does empower others to come forward too.  

If you need help or advice after a sexual assault or domestic violence incident TESSA has a 24/7 hotline with people ready to help you.

Do not be afraid. Call 719-633-3819. Click here to learn more about TESSA.