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‘Mr. Olympia’ accused of raping woman in Utah hotel room

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Fellow bodybuilder accuses Shawn Rhoden of rape

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A competitive bodybuilder and the current “Mr. Olympia”* faces rape charges in Utah.

Shawn Rhoden, 44, of Santa Barbara, Calif. is accused of raping a female bodybuilder at a hotel in Sandy in October 2018.

According to charging documents, the woman and a photographer, with whom she had just completed a session, went to visit Rhoden who was visiting from California. The woman described Rhoden as her “bodybuilding mentor and colleague.”

Documents state the photographer stayed in the lobby while the woman went up to the room. The woman told police when she entered the room, Rhoden started kissing her and forced himself on her. The woman said she “asked him to stop repeatedly” and tried to push him away.

According to the woman’s account, the kissing progressed to Rhoden lifting up her shirt and eventually raping her while she repeatedly told him that she didn’t want to do “this.”

The woman told police she was scared because Rhoden is “much bigger and stronger than she is and he was easily overpowering her.”

The probable cause statement states Rhoden let her leave after she told him she needed to go back downstairs or else her photographer would know “something was up.”

Investigators said the nurse who performed a sexual assault examination on the woman reported a laceration on her genitals. An employee with the Utah State Crime Lab determined a DNA sample collected from the woman matched “a known DNA sample belonging to Rhoden.”

Rhoden was charged with rape, object rape, and forcible sexual abuse. A warrant was issued for Rhoden’s arrest.

*Mr. Olympia is the title awarded to the winner of the professional men’s bodybuilding contest at Joe Weider’s Olympia Fitness & Performance Weekend—an international bodybuilding competition that is held annually by the International Federation of BodyBuilding & Fitness (IFBB).


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