Skip to Content

Police arrest Colorado Springs man accused of raping teen, human trafficking

super 8 david roberts
David O'Neal Roberts; Photo of Super 8 provided by Google

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Colorado Springs Police have arrested a man for allegedly raping an underage runaway earlier this year, and the investigation led to the discovery of a possible human trafficking ring that was operating out of an east Colorado Springs hotel.

Police now believe there are other victims and witnesses may have critical information about case.

Warning, details may be disturbing to some readers.

KRDO obtained an affidavit for David O'Neal Roberts' arrest, and it outlines how investigators tracked him down through reports from victims that he allegedly trafficked or raped.

CSPD says investigators first got contacted in mid-January when a 16-year-old girl reported being raped by a man named "Darule" at a Super 8 motel on Peterson Road.

Darule was later positively identified as Roberts, according to the affidavit. He also used several other pseudonyms that victims reported.

The teen was reported as a runaway in late-December and returned home to report the sexual assault. She told investigators that Roberts asked her to go on a walk, but then he forced her into the hotel room, shoved her in the bathroom and raped her at gunpoint, according to the affidavit.

Police learned from the teen that Roberts was trying to sell her and other women for sex, saying she would "make a lot of money." She said one of the other women had an infant, and that another person was smoking meth, shooting up other drugs, and "prostituting" with the baby in the room, according to the affidavit.

Caseworkers with the Department of Human Services went to the hotel in February and found the woman the teen referred to inside the room. Investigators said the woman "adamantly denied knowing about or having any involvement with prostitution," but they told her the teen described her and her son perfectly, which was the reason for the contact.

The woman then acknowledged she saw someone matching the description of the teen. She said the first time she saw the girl was in the hallway at the hotel alone, and they said "hello" to each other. The next time she saw the girl was the next day, leaving with a black male. She said this happened in the beginning of January, and she disclosed that she was with Roberts at the Super 8 around that same time.

At the end of January, investigators learned about a woman in jail for an unrelated arrest who said she was trying to help a friend get out of a situation where people were trying to sell her. The investigators asked if she knew "Dawud," one of Roberts' other aliases, and she said that was who was involved.

The victim was contacted by investigators and said that she was left by a friend at Roberts' place in the Birchwood Village apartment complex. She said she was very scared because Roberts told her she was "going to have sex with him and that she didn't have a choice," according to the affidavit. She said Roberts would sell drugs and girls, and talk about killing people. At one point, she said she saw Roberts choke a woman because she told him, "I ain't your b****."

The woman was able to escape, but she reported that Roberts sent two men to talk to her and tell her he demanded she return, according to the affidavit.

Police were able to identify Roberts through a Facebook profile, Dawud Sincere. On that profile, he had links to family members, which led investigators to discover his real name. Several witnesses positively identified a profile picture on Dawud's profile as Roberts.

Months later, investigators got a tip about another woman who had been sex trafficked by a member of the Crips identified as Dawuo, another one of Roberts' aliases.

A detective met with a woman in July who said that last year, she was taken to the Super 8 hotel on Peterson Road by two women and she was sold to Roberts for $3,000. After the exchange, she said Roberts injected her with a drug that made her feel dizzy and "gross," and then said Roberts raped her.

The woman told detectives that Roberts would threaten her life if she ever tried to leave, and he forced her to have sex with as many as 10-12 men per day. Roberts forced her in this situation for about two months at the hotel before finally letting her leave, but she said that he still contacted her every day and forced her into sex work, according to the affidavit.

Another tipster reported to police early in 2020 that he believed "Crips" were running a prostitution/human trafficking operation out of the hotel, which is just north of the gates to Peterson Air Force Base.

We've reached out to hotel management for a comment.

The tipster said that he was a sex worker at the hotel when he met a young woman, approximately 17 years old, who said that Roberts would not let her leave because "there was business to be done." The tipster said that Roberts would lure women in with parties and drugs and then wouldn't let them leave when they wanted to leave, according to the affidavit.

Investigators learned information from the tipster that victims were told Roberts would tamper with the door locks to prevent them from being opened from the inside, though it's not clear if that was verified. The trafficking was reported to be occurring on the second or third floor of the hotel.

Roberts also has an extensive criminal history, including arrests for second-degree kidnapping, aggravated robbery, second-degree assault, felony escape, along with drugs and weapons charges.

Roberts has been charged with two counts of sexual assault, one count of human trafficking, one count of attempted human trafficking, and two counts of false imprisonment. He was arrested last Friday and is being held in the El Paso County Jail.

Colorado Springs police believe there are more victims. If you have any information about Roberts' alleged crimes, you're encouraged to call CSPD at 719-444-7000.

Investigators want any potential victims to know that there are resources available and that they can report anonymously.

"I want to say this to anyone out there who looks at this and may be a victim or has some information, that regardless of what somebody was engaging in -- if it was prostitution or something else -- if you're victimized, then that's not OK, and it is OK to come to us and talk to us openly about the things that were going on and what ultimately led to you bringing information to us," Lt. John Koch with the Colorado Springs Police Department.

Police say even the smallest tip can help them identify other victims and ensure Roberts stays off the streets.

Anyone experiencing domestic violence or sexual abuse is encouraged to contact the local office for TESSA here.

Article Topic Follows: Colorado Springs

Jump to comments ↓

Andrew McMillan

Author Profile Photo

Chelsea Brentzel

Chelsea is the Assistant News Director for KRDO NewsChannel 13. Learn more about Chelsea here.


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content