The world’s top bodybuilder will not have a chance to defend his bodybuilding title at the prestigious Mr. Olympia contest in Las Vegas.
Shawn “Flexatron” Rhoden, a professional bodybuilder and 2018 Mr. Olympia champion, has been charged with one count of felony rape, one count of felony object rape, and forcible sexual assault. The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office issued a $750,000 arrest warrant for Rhoden on July 11, 2019.
The charges arise from an incident that occurred last year according to Lieutenant Dean Carriger with the Sandy City Police Department (SCPD). A 44-year old female bodybuilder reported that Rhoden sexually assaulted her in his hotel room at the Courtyard Marriott Hotel in Sandy City, Utah on October 12, 2018.
“Following an extensive investigation, Sandy Police detectives submitted the case to the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office on one allegation of rape against Shawn Rhoden,” Carriger said. “The DA’s office filed formal charges… and a warrant was subsequently issued for his arrest.”
Rhoden was a bodybuilding mentor and colleague of the alleged victim.
The alleged victim was a competitive bodybuilder who described Rhoden as her “body-building mentor and colleague”. She visited Rhoden’s hotel room following a photo shoot. The woman was accompanied by the photographer who remained in the hotel lobby while she visited Rhoden.
The woman alleged that Rhoden started kissing her and pressing his body against her body without her consent. She repeatedly asked him to stop and told him that she was not interested in his sexual advances. She told police that she feared Rhoden due to his overwhelming size and strength.
After she left Rhoden hotel room, she immediately told the photographer and called her husband. She contacted the police and was examined by a trained sexual assault nurse investigator.
The sexual assault nurse examiner observed a laceration on the victim’s genitals and collected DNA evidence that matched Rhoden’s.
David Pecker, the American Media LLC Chairman and owner of the Joe Weider Mr. Olympia, revoked Rhoden’s eligibility to compete in the 2019 and future Mr. Olympia competitions after prosecutors announced the criminal charges. The Mr. Olympia contest is the most prestigious professional bodybuilding title in the IFBB Pro League.
American Media also suspended all coverage and promotion of Rhoden in its bodybuilding magazines, Muscle & Fitness and FLEX Magazine.
It is not known if Rhoden is currently in custody.
Perez, C. (July 12, 2019). Mr. Olympia winner Shawn ‘Flexatron’ Rhoden accused of rape by fellow bodybuilder. Retrieved from nypost.com/2019/07/12/mr-olympia-winner-shawn-flexatron-rhoden-accused-of-rape-by-fellow-bodybuilder/