Authorities with the Summit County Sheriff's Office say there have been only two reported assaults in the Keystone area over the ski season, even as rumors of seven or more attacks fly.
The two reported rapes do not appear to be related and together do not represent a significant change in the number of cases from past years, according to sheriff's office officials.
"There's certainly not a pattern and there's certainly not anything that would indicate people are being targeted," sheriff's office spokeswoman Tracy LeClair said.
Neither of the two reported sex assaults were violent cases, she said.
Rape cases are generally not publicized for the sake of the victims.
The Summit Daily News, law enforcement and local victims advocacy organizations have all been contacted by individuals concerned after hearing of multiple rapes and beatings in the Keystone area in recent months. Some thought there had been six or seven cases, others had heard rumors of as many as 10.
Officials say the rumors may have originated with a neighbor of the more recent sex assault victims, who heard about the incident and contacted law enforcement asking that the information be made public.
There has not yet been an arrest in that case. Authorities said the investigation is ongoing.
There have been a number of bar fights in the Keystone area over the course of the ski season, but law enforcement officials say that's both fairly standard and generally not the type of crime that would be grouped with sex assaults.
Officials said they did not think there was an increased risk to the public in Keystone, but still advised people to be careful and to take precautions, particularly when drinking.
"The majority of sex assaults that happen, there is a substance, either alcohol some kind of drug-facilitated aspect," Advocates for Victims of Assault director Amy Jackson said.
She advises keeping close tabs on beverages when out in bars or social situations, or having friends do so when necessary. Friends should also be watching one another, looking for attention from others that appears unwanted or inappropriate.
"Bystander intervention is one of the best means that we have to prevent sex assaults," she said.
Advocates for Victims of Assault provides a range of services for victims, both men and women.
Additional information is available online at www.SummitAdvocates.org.