Champion body-builder Shawn Rhoden, former Mr. Olympia, faces rape allegations in Utah courtroom

Photo: Collins, Gann, McCloskey and Barry, PLLC.

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 23, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Shawn Rhoden, world famous body builder, and a former Mr. Olympia, pleaded not guilty to rape charges in Salt Lake’s Third District Court on Tuesday.

According to a probable cause statement, Rhoden, 44, is accused of attacking a woman, described as a “competitive female bodybuilder,” on Oct. 12, 2018, in a guest room at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel, in Sandy.

The statement alleges that Rhoden — whose bodybuilding nickname is “Flexatron” — kissed and fondled the woman against her will.

“She asked him to stop repeatedly and tried to push him away,” the probable cause statement says.

The woman said the rape began shortly afterward.

“(The woman) was scared because Rhoden is much bigger and stronger than she is, and he was easily overpowering her,” the statement said.

After the alleged assault, the woman told Rhoden she needed to go downstairs because a photographer the two had met with earlier “would know something (was) up.”

“Rhoden let her leave, and (she) contacted her husband and the police.”

On Tuesday, Rhoden, a resident of Santa Barbara, California, made a “voluntary appearance” in 3rd District Court. According to Rhoden’s defense team, “negotiations occurred between his defense team and prosecutors in which the prosecutor’s bail request was reduced from $750,000 to $250,000. The arrest warrant was vacated.”

Shawn Ethan Rhoden. Photo: Salt Lake County Jail

Rhoden entered a plea of not guilty and was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on charges of rape, a first-degree felony; object rape, a first-degree felony; and forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

Rhoden’s attorneys denied the accusations and thanked the body-builder’s fans and supporters, “especially those who are standing by him during this difficult time. He vigorously denies the charges.”

Rhoden won the Mr. Olympia title in 2018. He took second place in that same competition in 2016; 2015, 2014 and 2012.

In addition, Rhoden has placed in competitions in Kuwait, Prague, Dubai, Australia and Britain, the Wikipedia page says.

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