Carson City man arrested in rape of co-worker

A Carson City man was in custody Tuesday for allegedly raping a co-worker as they were closing up the restaurant where they worked early Monday morning.

Roberto Mercado, 40, was booked into the Carson City Jail at 3 p.m. Monday on suspicion of felony sexual assault.

According to the arrest report, the 22-year-old victim told police she and Mercado were closing the business when Mercado tried to kiss her as she stood outside smoking a cigarette.

The victim said she told him no, and the two went back into the restaurant. Inside, Mercado again allegedly tried to kiss her, but when she told him no, he raped her.

The victim told police that a minute into the assault, she was able to "use all her strength" to push herself off a table and run outside.

From outside, the report states, the woman watched Mercado go into the bathroom, then she snuck back inside and called a friend.

She and her friend met up at a casino and called police.

A sexual assault examination at the hospital showed signs of force, according to the report.

Mercado was contacted by investigators later in the day at another job, and he denied the incident.

He said the victim was "in love with him," and always asked for rides home.

"Roberto made the comment, 'I know she loves me,'" the report states.

• Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.

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