A man charged in the savage rape and beating of a 26-year-old woman in 2010 was in a jealous rage over suspicions she was unfaithful, according to a wrenching audio recording that captures indelible sounds of the assault.
Prosecutors implicate 28-year-old Ryan Cantor in the assault and played a two-hour recording Thursday that depicts the victim’s frantic pleas and her cries of pain as she was beaten for roughly two hours and made to perform a sex act.
The August 2010 ordeal unfolded during a forced drive through Colorado Springs, during which the woman was kept in the passenger seat at gunpoint, where she screamed and begged for mercy. She was pistol whipped, burned with a cigarette and subjected to a mock execution sung to the tune of “Eenie Meenie Miney Moe,” prosecutors say.
In court on Thursday, the victim sat crying near the back of the courtroom as the audio played, her shoulders shaking with sobs as her attacker’s death threats and withering insults boomed from a set of speakers — sometimes at throat-shredding volumes, sometimes in a hushed whisper radiating menace.
“I will knock you out and cut out your tongue,” the man screams against the metallic sound of a pistol smacking against her face, demanding to know “the truth” about why she had made plans to meet with another man.
Prosecutors say the woman began dating Cantor, a felon, in early 2010 and was reluctant to report his regular beatings of fear of reprisal.
She turned over her cellular phone recording of the assault when she decided to cooperate with police and implicated Cantor, prosecutors said. His attorney, Philip Dubois, argues there is no proof that Cantor is the man heard on tape, and he asked the jury to consider her drug use, criminal past and changing stories to police.
Cantor, wearing a crisp white shirt, wire-rimmed glasses and a close-cropped haircut, directed a cold gaze at the woman as she told jurors that she was too terrified to ask for help when Cantor halted his beating long enough to stop and order food at a Sonic restaurant on Woodmen Road near the Wal-Mart in north Colorado Springs.
In a moment captured on the cell phone and heard in court on Thursday, the assailant’s voice softens momentarily as he orders snacks at the drive-through window.
“Umm, can I get a large cherry lime-aid, please?” he asks in the even, cheerful tone of a bank teller. “And can I just get some mozzarella sticks? That will be it.”
Afterward, the man found a place to park and continued his violent harangue while chewing his food.
“I’m bleeding to death!” the woman screams at one point, after being repeatedly hit with the butt of a gun. Photographs displayed in court on Wednesday show her face and arms covered in deep, black bruises and cigarette burns behind her ear and on her arm. According to prosecutors, police were summoned to assist her by a hotel desk employee who reported concerns that she would survive the night in her rented room — but she sent them away.
The woman divulged details of the abuse only after an intervention that involved her probation officer.
Prosecutors say Cantor, 28, frequently abused his then-girlfriend and used the woman’s phone to tape the assault as a way of humiliating her into submission.
The woman, whose name is being withheld by The Gazette, initially took the stand on Wednesday but cut her testimony short when she grew emotional. She arrived on time Thursday morning and testified for the rest of the day.