Kutztown Area High School coach accused of covering up teen's rape

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December 4, 2013 3:42:58 PM PST
A Berks County man is charged with raping a teenage girl, while the girl's field hockey coach is charged with covering up the crime.

Rafael Gomez-Echavarria, 23, of Reading, is accused of raping the girl inside a hotel room in Lower Swatara Township, Dauphin County, on the morning of August 4th.

Alicia Colon, 25, of Exeter Township, is accused of telling the girl to 'forget' about the rape and failing to report it to police.

Colon was a field hockey coach at Kutztown Area High School.

Investigators say the 16-year-old was with Colon to watch the Keystone Games in Harrisburg.

Police tell WFMZ-TV that the victim's parents agreed to the teen having a 'girl's night' with Colon and two other people.

However, police said, Colon invited three men back to their room, including Gomez-Echavarria, and the girl began to feel 'uncomfortable.'

The girl told police she was asleep on the floor when Gomez-Echavarria allegedly began kissing her neck. Police said the girl told him to stop five times before he complied and left her alone.

However, investigators say, the girl woke up two hours later as Gomez-Echavarria allegedly touched her inappropriately then raped her.

The girl told police she didn't scream because she was afraid Gomez-Echavarria would hurt her. Gomez-Echavarria then allegedly told her it was "our little secret" and went to sleep.

"The victim had sent a text message right after it happened to the coach and in the morning, when the coach got the text message, she made an attempt to cover it up," Detective Ryan Gartland of the Lower Swatara Townshp Police Department said.

Colon, at first, denied knowing anything about the attack until investigators confronted her with those text messages.

"And then she finally said that she should have called the police and she did tell this girl to just forget about it," Gartland said.

Colon told police that she should have called officers right away, but didn't because she was worried about her losing her coaching job.

The incident came to light in October after the victim told her mom about what happened. However, police say they lost physical evidence because of the alleged cover-up.

Colon has been charged with hindering apprehension, endangering the welfare of children and corruption of minors. She is expected to surrender later this week.

Action News went to the family home of Alicia Colon to get her version of the story, but we were not invited inside.

Superintendent Katherine Metrick told the Associated Press that Colon was a field hockey coach at Kutztown for the past two seasons but no longer works there. Metrick didn't comment further.

Gomez-Ecchavarria has been charged with multiple offenses, including rape, sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and unlawful contact with a minor. He is already in the Berks County Jail for violating probation, said police.

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