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CU Boulder student arrested after allegedly strangling, sexually assaulting student in her dorm room

CU Boulder sexual assault case_Henry Terhaar
Posted at 6:01 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 08:39:33-04

BOULDER, Colo. — A 22-year-old student at the University of Colorado in Boulder was arrested on Monday after he allegedly choked and sexually assaulted another student in her dorm room.

Henry Torres Terhaar, of Longmont, faces two felony charges: sexual assault (involving serious bodily injury) and strangulation or suffocation. The Boulder County Sheriff's Office said he was arrested on Monday and released after a court appearance on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond.

The CU Boulder Police Department (CUPD) said it cannot release any information aside from confirming his arrest because this is an ongoing investigation.

This was first reported by the Daily Camera on Monday.

CU Boulder student arrested after allegedly strangling, sexually assaulting student in her dorm room

According to an arrest affidavit for Terhaar obtained by Denver7 on Tuesday, an officer with the CUPD responded to Boulder Community Health to pick up documents related to a sexual assault nurse examiner, or SANE, exam on Dec. 14, 2023. That officer also talked with the victim, who said she had met a man named Henry through Tinder and they had decided to meet in-person on Dec. 9, 2023. The victim described Terhaar as "very nice" and "genuine" over the app. During his visit to her dorm, they engaged in consensual sexual activity, according to the affidavit.

They briefly exchanged texts the following day — Dec. 10 — and possibly the next day. The victim said she learned he was a senior at CU Boulder and was a pre-law student.

On Dec. 12, they texted about getting dinner together and watching a movie. The victim told police that during dinner, Terhaar was "being very cold towards her, and was not acting the same way as he previously did," but she shrugged it off, according to the affidavit. She recalled that he was not engaging in conversation.

After dinner, they walked to her dorm room and she began to set up the movie. She turned off the lights for the movie and then "Henry grabbed her by the throat" and "choked her five to six times in a five-minute period" while trying to remove her pants, the affidavit reads. She told the officer she could not breathe and almost lost consciousness. She was unable to push him away, she told the officer.

Terhaar then allegedly forced her onto the bed and sexually assaulted her, according to the affidavit. Afterward, the victim went into the bathroom and when she came back out, he was gone. When she texted him to ask where he was, he replied "he left because he did not appreciate the way she was treating him and did not appreciate the attitude that she had towards him," the affidavit reads. She then decided to delete and block all communications with him, she told police.

She told the officer that he was not wearing a condom.

She called up her friends afterward and had been staying in their rooms since then, she told police.

At the hospital, she had visible injuries, including bruising and strangulation marks on her neck, according to the affidavit. A couple months later, police learned from medical records from the hospital that the doctor who examined the victim believed she had "suffered serious bodily injury, which included a substantial risk of death, a substantial risk of serious permanent disfigurement, and a substantial risk of or protracted loss or impairment of the function of any part or organ of the body."

During her stay in the hospital, the victim provided police with Terhaar's phone number and photos of him, but said she did not know if she wanted police to further investigate and needed time to process what had happened, according to the affidavit.

While she went on winter break, police continued to look into the case. An officer used a photo of Terhaar provided by the victim to compare to the photograph used for his BuffOne identification card and confirmed the photos were of the same person. They also confirmed his listed home address.

In late January, police obtained the Tinder records between the two, which started on Dec. 8, 2023. The victim had mentioned that he used a flip phone and she wasn't sure how he was accessing Tinder on it, according to the affidavit. That same month, police applied for and were granted a search warrant for his Tinder account, which showed he "often brags about his use of a flip phone," the document reads.

On Feb. 7, police called and spoke with Terhaar, who said the encounter from the evening of Dec. 12 was consensual and that "he assumed he was being implicated because she was angry at him for leaving," the affidavit reads. He said he had choked the victim, but not hard, it continues. He said he could have been the one to cause some of her injuries, he did not intend to hurt the victim.

A warrant for his arrest was signed by a judge on March 26. Terhaar was arrested on April 1, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

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