A sexual assault of an apparently unconscious woman in a Bethlehem, Pennsylvania casino bathroom last year has led to the alleged assailant getting sentenced this week for six months to a year in prison.
Traver Tilley, 31, of Bethlehem Township, was sentenced in local court Wednesday for assaulting the victim last March 18 in a woman’s lavatory near the Vision Nightclub in the former Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem, according to Lehighvalleylive.com.
He will be incarcerated in Northampton County Prison, the news report adds. Tilley will also register as a sex offender for 25 years.
Tilley pleaded nolo contendre to a single charge of indecent assault of an unconscious person. That means a criminal defendant does not admit guilt, but recognizes enough evidence was presented to convict him.
The victim and Tilley had been drinking heavily at the casino before the assault. It was St. Patrick’s Day night.
At 1:30 am, she walked with difficulty into the bathroom. A short time later, Tilley followed her, and that is where the sexual assault took place, a prosecutor said.
Eventually, casino security officers discovered the victim. She was covered in her own vomit, Lehighvalleylive.com reported, based on statements from the local prosecutor. She required hospital treatment.
She basically could not recall much of the evening. But she later woke up in a bed at St. Luke’s University Hospital in Fountain Hill.
Victim Demanded Medical Test for Possible Sex Assault
Doctors found bodily fluids – allegedly traced to Tilley — on the victim while she was at the hospital. She was initially treated for extreme intoxication, the prosecutor said.
But while there, she demanded that hospital staff examine her for a possible sexual assault. The victim told them, “‘I was assaulted. I am a woman. I know my body. I feel it,’” Northampton County Assistant District Attorney Tatum Wilson said, quoting statements the victim made that night, Lehighvalleylive.com reported.
“This was an ultimate betrayal,” Wilson said to Lehighvalleylive.com. “There was a person who took advantage of a person who was in an incredibly vulnerable position.”
Victim Lost Her Sense of Self
The assault had a lasting emotional impact on the victim, Wilson further argued in court.
“She has lost her sense of self. She has lost her belief and confidence and trust in people,” Wilson told the judge. “Whatever sentence you give him, I submit her sentence will last much longer.”
State sentencing guidelines recommended Tilley receive at least a sentence of probation to nine months, according to The Morning Call.
Tilley, like the victim, could not recall what took place that night, his attorney, James Burke, argued in court, the Lehighvalleylive.com report said.
“It was a nolo contendre plea for a reason,” Burke argued before Northampton County President Judge Michael Koury. “The reason, Your Honor, is the defendant has no recollection of what occurred that evening.”
Tilley was also treated at the hospital for intoxication. The victim and assailant knew each other before the attack. But they were not friends.
I’m deeply sorry to the victim,” Tilley told the judge in court, and addressed the victim, “I’m sorry you had to go through this.”
Casino security cameras recorded some of the pair’s activity before they entered the lavatory. The casino is now known as the Wind Creek Bethlehem to reflect a change in ownership.
Elsewhere, other casinos had instances of players or patrons getting sexually assaulted. Some instances do not occur on casino property. But people meeting at a casino leads to attacks elsewhere.
For instance, a 37-year-old man allegedly sexually assaulted a woman in Las Vegas last July who he had met a short time earlier in the New York-New York Hotel & Casino.