Muscle Sport Magazine

Shawn Rhoden Case From a Law Enforcement Officer’s Perspective

Many in the media have speculated ad naseum about so many aspects of the Shawn Rhoden rape allegation that we felt it would be beneficial to try and do break down of the different portions of it from a police procedural perspective. With this writer being a retired NYPD detective who has investigated cases just like this, perhaps we can shed some light on the incident and the aftermath. Please keep in mind, these are generalizations that are common amongst law enforcement and not a reflection on what actually occurred in Utah. 


Many have questioned why it took nearly nine months for the police in Utah to take action in the Shawn Rhoden case. All states have different guidelines. Rhoden would have been arrested immediately upon the complainant/witness filing the report in the state of New York. 



From what is known, the complainant/witness did report the incident to the police on the same day that it occurred, October 12, 2018. At that time, a DNA sample was recovered from her body and in the TMZ report, the nurse obtaining the evidence for what is known in law enforcement as a ‘rape kit’ also observed a laceration on the complainant/witness’s vagina. 
In all likelihood, Rhoden was contacted by the police later that evening or early the next day and voluntarily came in and gave a DNA sample via a swab. He was in town for a guest posing appearance at the NPC Utah Classic, which he subsequently missed.
It’s also possible that the District Attorney’s office there was conferred with because he is a high profile name (even in this fucked up industry, the reigning champion being accused of a felony would end up all over the news, as was the case) and they decided to not file charges until the lab results were in. According to some reports, there is a huge backlog in Utah on DNA tests and this one did not get any preferential treatment. regardless, the fact that an arrest warrant was drawn up shows that the DA had been contacted and this was done in conjunction with the prosecutor’s office. 
The person arrested can claim that the sex was consensual and that would mean the DNA sample is not a ‘smoking gun,’ if you will. That’s what juries are for, so Rhoden has to either take a plea or take it to court. These cases frequently come down to ‘he said, she said’ and who the jury finds more believable.
Since there were no other persons present nor video or audio tape during the alleged incident, it is then necessary for the police to speak to anyone who observed or had any interaction with her subsequent to her leaving the location. The complainant/witness told investigators that she was able to leave Rhoden’s hotel room by telling him she had an acquaintance waiting for her downstairs who would know “something (was) up” if she didn’t return soon.



A Reddit user with the screen name utahguy17 has posted that he was the person waiting for the complainant/witness in the hotel lobby and added some additional information that has yet to be proven. (We reached out to this person on 7/12/19 and have yet to receive a reply as of this writing.)
This person did not say if the police interviewed him, but it would behoove them to speak to him, the hotel personnel working at the time and view the hallway, elevator and lobby video camera footage. The complainant/victim’s demeanor and behavior immediately following the incident and how she appeared at the police station could be very important factors in coming to a conclusion for someone on a jury.


An investigation of this nature requires many different parts being looked at to give the prosecutor all the information needed to obtain a conviction or – looking at it from the other side – evidence that will show a crime was not committed or not proven beyond a reasonable doubt. If there was in fact someone waiting for her, that person may be able to corroborate some of the complainant/victim’s story and testify as to her appearance and behavior, ie: if she appeared disheveled and distraught, etc.

Some of the Reddit posts by utahguy17 read as follows:
“Unfortunately they can’t press charges until the rape kit came back. Sadly it took this long for it to come back. Do a little google search and you will see how backed up most states rape kit labs are. The crime was immediately reported. Just FYI I was the person in the lobby waiting for her. He asked her to get him a coffee and run it to his room so he didn’t have to go downstairs and sign autographs at the Bodybuilding weighins [sic]. The sheer terror that was on her face when she came down was frightening.”
“I was dumb founded [sic] that it took so long to get back. The thing that is really going to fuck him is at first when the police questioned him, he denied any physical contact and then when the kit came back he changed his story and said oh actually it was consensual. Guys like this think they can get away with anything because of who they are. I would be shocked that after this REALLY comes out, FYI TMZ just reported it too, that more victims don’t come forward. Guys like this usually have a history of doing this.”
“Not sure how I would prove that  (EDITOR’S NOTE: after being challenged on the accuracy) but I do know the amount of the bond $750,000 and that isn’t in any news reports. 🤷🏻‍♂️ not sure what attention I would be seeking. I simply saw a friends [sic] life destroyed emotionally and mentally because of him and people should know the monster he is. Whether this is his first time doing this or he has done it to other women it makes no difference, he destroyed someone’s life and needs to pay for it.”
“Do you really think he broke his jaw from falling in the shower? There’s a lot about Shawn that is about to come out. Including the fact he has a secret child that no one knows about.”

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