University of Colorado rape victim Kendra Heuer speaks out about attacker Austin Wilkerson

Posted at 6:01 AM, Nov 04, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-04 08:21:07-04

BOULDER, Colo. -- Three months after a CU student convicted of rape was sentenced to work release and probation, instead of prison, his victim is speaking out.

That victim, Kendra Heuer, was interviewed as one of PEOPLE magazine's 25 Women Changing the World.

“If speaking out helps one woman who has been sexually assaulted then it’s worth it,” Heuer said. “Maybe someone will realize that what they experienced is assault.”

Heuer was sexually assaulted in 2014.

Prosecutors said her attacker, Austin Wilkerson, told friends he would take care of a woman who had had too much to drink at a Saint Patrick's Day party.

But instead, court records state he sexually assaulted her, telling friends she was "passed out," then later claiming in court that it was consensual.

While the prosecutors asked for prison time, Judge Patrick Butler handed down a lighter sentence --  two years in county jail with the opportunity to leave for work or school and 20 years to life on probation.

Heuer told PEOPLE that after the assault, she had days she couldn't get out of bed and she tried to commit suicide.

“I’ve dealt with a lot but I’ve gotten through it,” she says. “I was depressed and I didn’t think I could get through it but I’ve learned a lot. I speak up, my voice is heard. I have a lot to say.”

“I won’t let him win," Heuer said. "I have a lot to live for. I want people to know my story. I didn’t want my name attached to this before but now it’s time. I’m a survivor.”

Read more on PEOPLE magazine's website.


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