Amazing Story: Rookie makes history with another HR

Pfc. John Chance Donathan (right), 20, and Spc. Noel Adrian Acevedo-Mercado (left), 21, were charged with raping an intoxicated teen girl in October 2014.

An ex-Fort Carson soldier charged in the rape of a 17-year-old girl died last month, three weeks before he was due to stand trial.

Pfc. John Chance Donathan died March 15, according to an obituary published on the website of Wilmington, Del.-based Doherty Funeral Homes. A cause of death wasn't specified. The El Paso County Coroner's Office said it wasn't notified.

A Fort Carson spokeswoman said Donathan was discharged from the Army on March 10 and referred additional questions to Army Human Resources Command, which couldn't be reached.

Donathan, 20, and Spc. Noel Adrian Acevedo-Mercado, 21, were charged with raping an intoxicated teen girl in October 2014.

His trial, scheduled to begin Monday, was called off when Donathan's attorney, David Foley of Colorado Springs, announced the death at a pre-trial hearing last week. Foley did not return a phone message requesting more information.

Acevedo is scheduled for a July 12 trial on three counts of sexual assault.

Prosecutors allege the pair met the girl at a party on Gold Camp Road and later attacked her in a bedroom of her home. The girl said both men held her down during the assault and changed positions when one of them said "switch," according to an arrest affidavit filed by Colorado Springs police. The Gazette typically does not name victims of sexual assault.

Donathan and Acevedo-Mercado were assigned to Fort Carson's 3rd Battalion of the 29th Field Artillery Regiment at the time of the alleged attack. Both were free on $50,000 bail, court records show.

If convicted, Acevedo-Mercado could face up to 24 years in prison.

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Contact Lance Benzel: 636-0366

Twitter: @lancebenzel

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