“Sexually Violent Predator”: Man Sentenced to 162 Years to Life for Kidnapping and Raping Multiple Homeless Women

"Sexually Violent Predator": Man Sentenced to 162 Years to Life for Kidnapping and Raping Multiple Homeless Women
"Sexually Violent Predator": Man Sentenced to 162 Years to Life for Kidnapping and Raping Multiple Homeless Women

A Colorado man has been sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping and raping several homeless women.

According to a press release from the District Attorney’s Offices for Gilpon and Jefferson Counties, Joseph Gabriel Van Eck, 33, was sentenced to between 162 years and life in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting the victims in Denver in 2020.

According to the press release, the investigation into the attacks began on April 19, 2020, when “a young woman reported to Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies that she had been picked up in Denver and driven into the foothills where she was sexually assaulted.”

Three more victims “who reported similar experiences in August and September 2020” were identified as a result.

According to the press release, “all four victims were unhoused females from a vulnerable community.”

Three of the four victims were enticed into Van Eck’s truck after he offered them a ride, while one was “grabbed and pulled into the truck by her purse.”

“Van Eck would drive to a remote area in Jefferson County where he threatened to kill, physically assaulted, and forced them to engage in unwanted sexual activity” during the attacks.

Van Eck, who was described as a “sexually violent predator,” was carrying both a gun and a knife during several of the attacks.

Van Eck was found guilty in March of three counts of sexual assault, two counts of second-degree kidnapping, four counts of soliciting for prostitution, one count of attempted sex assault, one count of unlawful sexual contact, and one count of theft by a Jefferson County jury.

If Van Eck is released from prison, he will be on probation for the rest of his life, a sentence that investigators say is more than justified.

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