Aspen man arrested on charges stemming from alleged rape |

Aspen man arrested on charges stemming from alleged rape

An Aspen man sentenced to five years of probation and four months in jail for drunken driving in May was arrested Wednesday and charged with raping a female family member, according to court documents.

Thomas Sanders, 37, was charged with sexual assault, harassment and resisting arrest after the woman reported the attack to police, according to an affidavit filed in Pitkin County District Court.

The woman told police that Tuesday night Sanders had been drinking and touching her sexually, though she did not want to be touched. The next morning Sanders forcefully removed her clothes and raped her, though she didn’t want to have sex and wanted him to stop, according to the affidavit.

When police came to arrest him later Wednesday, Sanders repeatedly resisted their efforts. His breath alcohol content at the time was 0.26.

The woman later said Sanders gets physical with her at times and verbally abuses both her and another family member. She also reported that Sanders had been drinking “for a number of days,” the affidavit states.

A District Court judge sentenced Sanders to 120 days in jail and five years of probation in May after he pleaded guilty to two counts of felony DUI. He received the DUIs in September and October 2017. During one of those stops, he began chugging a 40-ounce bottle of malt liquor before a sheriff’s deputy grabbed it from him and threw it across the road.

Sanders had three previous DUI convictions before the guilty pleas earlier this year. As part of his probation, he was supposed to have his sobriety monitored and abstain from alcohol and drugs.