A man has been accused of raping a woman he met leaving a party ahead of the Super Bowl in Minneapolis last year.
Warning: This story contains upsetting details.
Melvin DeVaughn Epps, 35, of James Avenue North in Minneapolis, allegedly carried out the assault on a woman he met as they left the Maxim Party in the North Loop in the early hours of Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018.
According to charges, the pair started talking at coat check as they wanted to leave the exclusive event, which the victim was attending as a guest of Maxim.
Epps offered her a ride to her hotel so she wouldn't have to wait in the cold, which she accepted, and started driving her to the wrong hotel – a Super 8 in Brooklyn Center – rather than the one in Bloomington she was staying at.
When they realized it was the wrong one, he drove south, but stopped at the Motel 6 in Richfield at around 6 a.m.
Epps asked for a kiss from her, which she agreed to "out of respect," telling police that at that point there was no indication Epps wanted anything sexual, and she had no romantic interest him.
But he then started touching her, to which she responded "oh, no" on two occasions.
He then climbed over the center console and got on top of her, holding her down as he raped her despite her repeatedly screaming "no."
The assault continued for five minutes, and when it stopped she ran from the car into the front desk of the Motel 6, told them she'd been sexually assaulted, and asked for a cab to the Super 8 she was staying at, where she called police.
She underwent a sexual assault exam in a hospital, which found she also had bruising and scratching on her back and wrists, while one of her earrings had been ripped out of her ear.
Fluids taken during the exam provided a DNA match with Epps, with police interviewing him in his home, during which he confirmed attending the Maxim Party but denied meeting the victim or having sex with anyone.
Epps later contacted police to amend his statement, saying he'd driven the victim home and that they had sex, but that it was consensual.
He has been charged with 1st-degree criminal sexual conduct, and is also facing pending charges of 3rd- and 4th-degree criminal sexual conduct for an incident later in February, when he's accused of sexually assaulting an ex-girlfriend.
Tickets for the Maxim Party ranged in price from $750 to $21,000 and was attended by NFL stars and musical celebrities alike.
Bring Me The News wrote about it last year, when there were complaints about long delays at coat check and claims of sexual harassment targeting some of the models invited to the event.