DENVER — The arrest of a prominent Denver realtor who allegedly assaulted a senior citizen collecting signatures for a pro-life petition has lead to new developments in three unsolved rape cases.
“Were it not for Mr. Costello’s arrest at the grocery store in July, there would have been no new leads, and there would have been no charges filed in connection with these three unsolved sexual assaults,” Lynn Kimbrough of the Denver District Attorney’s Office told CNA Nov. 21.
The man now identified as William Costello, a prominent Denver-based realtor, was asked by Everett Stadig if he had signed a petition in support of the Personhood Amendment, a bill designed to extend the protection of the law to “all human beings at any stage of development.”
“I didn’t want to confront him,” Everett Stadig, the 69-year-old resident of Aurora, Colo. told CNA Nov. 21. Stadig was assaulted in July while collecting signatures for the Personhood Amendment at the King Soopers grocery store on Quebec St. and East 28th Ave. in Denver.
Stadig is a self-described “Lincoln look-alike” who is often seen around Denver holding signs in protest of abortion.
When he approached Costello and asked him to sign the petition, Stadig received a response in “an angry tone” and “swearing.” Costello declared that he was “pro-choice” and that he would not sign the petition.
At that point, Costello walked away and Stadig “thought he was done with him.” But moments later Costello returned to tell the elderly man that he “didn’t have a right to be here.”
While he was standing with “the bike in one hand and the Personhood petition in the other,” Stadig said, Costello grabbed him by both shoulders and “shoved” him to the ground. A witness observed the assault and took down Costello’s license plate number before he fled the scene, according to the affidavit.
Stadig sustained a broken hip and had to have surgery to repair it. Costello was charged with second-degree assault of an at-risk adult.
Due to “Katie’s Law,” a Colorado state law requiring DNA testing of anyone arrested for assault, Costello has now been linked to three unsolved rapes cases from 2008, 2010 and 2011.
“Praise the Lord that it happened that way and now the victims are going to get compensated and not just me,” Stadig said.
The Denver Police Department was notified Oct. 30 that Costello’s DNA matched that filed with the rape of a 13-year-old girl in March 2008, a 22-year-old woman in August 2010 and a 49-year-old woman in September 2011.
Costello is now being charged with two counts of kidnapping, two counts of sexual assault on a child, three counts of sexual assault and two counts of impersonating a police officer.
In one case, the perpetrator had a two-year-old boy in his car while he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl who was running away from the Denver Children’s home.
In two cases, Costello used force and told victims he was a police officer.
At the time he was arrested on Nov. 5, Costello was dropping yard signs off at a political campaign office in Durango, Colo. and driving a car belonging to the Democratic political consultant Mike Stratton, The Denver Post reported.