Update: The case against Brett Sisman has been dismissed and the records have been sealed. Continue for our previous coverage.
The Denver District Attorney's Office has formally charged Brett Sisman with sexually assaulting a woman he met using the dating app Tinder. The incident allegedly caused so many injuries to the victim that they were documented by as many as 100 photos.
This is the second time in just over a year that Tinder has been at the center of a case taken by the Denver DA's office. In June 2015, as we reported at the time, Darren Auger was busted for sexual assault after what we characterized as the Tinder date from hell.
Turns out, though, that these weren't the only times Tinder has been a key factor in alleged sex crimes. From the start of 2015 to July 6, 2016, Tinder has been referenced in eight Denver Police Department arrest reports. However, the six arrests beyond those involving Sisman and Auger didn't result in prosecution for a variety of reasons, including victim non-cooperation and a determination by the DA's office of insufficient evidence.
The number of Tinder-related sexual-assault cases in Denver is relatively modest considering the popularity of the app, and their frequency hasn't risen at an alarming rate. But the incidents suggest that Tinder users should follow best practices for safety, including checking out the person on social media in advance, meeting in a public place (during the daytime, if possible), having your own transportation and telling others where you'll be and when.
Continue to read accounts of all eight incidents, as drawn from Denver police reports.
January 10, 2015:
Around 3:40 p.m. on January 11, a Denver police officer met a woman at St. Anthony's Hospital North in Westminster. There, she told him about what started as a Tinder date the evening before.
She and the man in question had gone to Sushi Tran for dinner, and afterward, she accompanied him back to his apartment, about ten minutes away. The couple watched a movie before beginning to kiss — but as the situation seemed on the cusp of heating up, she told him she wouldn't have sex with him. His quoted reply: "Okay."
The sexual contact continued, however, with both the man and the woman performing oral sex on each other. But when he put his penis into her, she told him "No" again. He was persistent, however, and in the end, she allowed him to have intercourse with her "because she felt she had no choice." She subsequently accused him of raping her via text. He reacted angrily, calling her "the kind of Tinder bitch that ruins people's lives."
The case was ultimately rejected by the Denver DA's office. The notation on the report reads: "No likelihood of conviction."
A woman told investigators that she and Darren Auger connected on Tinder on June 2, 2015. Before long, the pair switched to texting and wound up arranging to share a meal at Hapa Sushi in Cherry Creek a week later, on June 9.
On that day, they walked dogs in Washington Park, then returned to her home, where the woman let the pets run in the back yard while Auger used the facilities.
Upon his return, Auger started kissing the woman, and things soon progressed to the point where they wound up in her bedroom.
That's when the woman said she wouldn't have sexual intercourse without a condom, and she didn't have one. Auger didn't, either, but after some activity that's blacked out in the police report, he climbed on top of her.
The woman said "No," but Auger allegedly didn't stop, telling her, "You will like it. It's fine" and later adding, "I won't come or anything."
She continued to resist, refusing his repeated attempts to kiss her and pushing him away as he forced intercourse, the affidavit states.
Finally, when she said, "Get the fuck off of me," he responded with, "Okay, okay" and belatedly ceased contact.
As he left, he reportedly asked the woman what her problem was — and after she told him that "when someone says no, it means no," he replied that he'd "had a lot of girls say no, but they like it afterward."
Auger was charged with sexual assault. He eventually pleaded guilty to a lesser charge.
July 18, 2015:
On July 15, a woman agreed to get together with a man she connected with on Tinder for an after-midnight meet at the NATIV Hotel. After sharing drinks at the bar until the lounge's closing time, they headed to her apartment, where he suggested that they have sex. She turned him down, but was not insistent, because she didn't want to be rude.
Shortly thereafter, she changed into her pajamas, turned on a movie and cuddled with her dog instead of the man. According to her, he tried to initiate sex on a number of occasions but ultimately went to sleep, as did she — only to awaken to find him having intercourse with her without her consent or the use of a condom.
The woman said she struggled with the man for a while before deciding to "just let it happen." Afterward, she told him to "get the fuck out of my house," and he did so.
At Denver Health Medical Center, where she completed a rape-kit examination, the author of the police report noted that the woman had bruises on her arms and neck and "appeared to be incredibly emotionally disturbed and traumatized." She's quoted as saying, "It's like I ignored all the danger signs. Nothing about him added up, but I just shrugged it off."
The DA's office ultimately decided not to prosecute the case under the "no likelihood of conviction" rationale.
December 22, 2015:
Around 4 a.m. on the 22nd, a woman told a police officer that she'd been raped by a man she'd met on Tinder. They'd gone on "a few other dates," she revealed, but she didn't know his last name, date of birth or his apartment number — though she was clear on the building in which he resided.
The officer encouraged her to go to Denver Health and have a rape-kit examination, but she at least temporarily declined, saying she was tired and wanted to go home. Instead, she arranged to go to the hospital the next day, but the report offers no evidence that she did so.
The notation atop the report reads in part: "VIC REFUSES TO COOP — NOT PRESENTED/REFUSED BY DA."
Continue to learn about four more Denver sexual assault reports involving Tinder, including the events that led to the arrest of Brett Sisman.
January 13, 2016:
A woman contacted the Denver Police Department at around 3 p.m. on the 13th to report that she had been raped the previous October by a man she'd met on Tinder.
The two had gone to a soccer game together before heading to what was likely a hotel; the name is blacked out in the report, but there's a reference to signing in and heading back to a room where other witnesses had congregated. The woman remembered asking the man if he was "the kind of guy that just wanted to hook up," and he insisted that he was not. But after falling asleep, she awakened to find him on top of her and engaged in intercourse. She responded by forcing him to get off her and telling him to stop. At first, she said, she was too scared and too worried about what she would tell her parents to report the crime, but she eventually decided that it was the right thing to do.
The case wasn't prosecuted by the Denver DA's office due to what's characterized as "insufficient ID evidence."
February 4, 2016:
A woman told police that between the hours of 7 and 10 p.m. on the 4th, she had sex with a suspect she'd met on Tinder. She admitted that she'd been drunk and "could not remember if she consented to the sexual intercourse or not."
The victim later refused to cooperate, prompting the DA's office not to take the case.
March 8, 2016:
A victim came into a DPD station to report a sexual assault. She said she'd met a man on Tinder and arranged to have dinner at his home. After they ate, he began kissing her. She reacted by pulling away and trying to leave the home, but he allegedly grabbed her and pulled her back into the living room, where she said he sexually assaulted her even though she told him she didn't want to have sex.
No further information is available on the case, which is simply listed as "inactive."
June 5, 2016:
On June 5, a woman arranged to meet Brett Sisman, whose photo she'd seen on Tinder, at the Thirsty Lion in downtown Denver. Next, they went to the Cheesecake Factory and the Brown Palace, where Sisman ordered drinks for both of them. After consuming the beverage, the woman says she felt woozy and dizzy.
From there, the pair headed to Sisman's apartment, where the woman laid down on the couch, saying she wasn't feeling well. Even so, according to the police report, Sisman picked her up, put her over his shoulder, carried her to his bedroom and told her to give him oral sex. When she said she didn't want to do that, he allegedly responded by saying, "I'm not asking you. I'm telling you."
Much of what happened after that is censored in the affidavit, but there are references to grabbing, pinning and biting the victim despite her repeatedly saying "No" to sexual demands.
Afterward, the woman called for an Uber to pick her up, and as she was leaving, she showed Sisman the bite mark on her arm. "Sorry," he replied.
At the hospital, where she went to get a rape-kit examination, a police officer was told that "there were over 100 photos taken of the victim's injuries/bruises."
The Denver District Attorney's Office has charged Sisman with sexual assault.
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