An attack by a Colorado man with close ties to the Democratic Party on an elderly petition gatherer for Personhood USA has led to the identification of a suspect in a series of unsolved sexual assault cases, officials have confirmed to WND.
William Costello, a real estate broker with ties to some of the state’s top political figures in the Democratic Party, was charged after his DNA was tied to unsolved sexual assault cases from 2008, 2010 and 2011.
The Denver Post reported Costello was driving the SUV of Democratic political strategist Mike Stratton when he was pulled over and arrested by authorities. Costello was using the SUV to deliver Democrat campaign signs in Durango, Colo.
Costello is also a friend of former Colorado Democratic Gov. Dick Lamm, who once asserted that elderly people have a “duty to die and get out of the way.” Lamm also has called for health-care rationing and complained that many elderly people feel entitled to have taxpayers fund medical procedures that will prolong their lives.
Costello allegedly sexually assaulted a 13-year-old girl in 2008, a 22-year-woman in 2010 and a 49-year-old woman in 2011. Authorities subsequently charged him with two counts of second-degree kidnapping, two accounts of sexual assault on a child and three counts of sexual assault. He was also charged with two counts of impersonating a police officer during two of the attacks.
Costello’s arrest on Nov. 5 came about as a result of an unlikely related event.
On June 30, Everett Stadig, a 69-year-old petition gatherer for Personhood USA, was thrown off his bicycle, allegedly by Costello, while gathering signatures for a personhood amendment outside of a King Soopers grocery story in Denver, resulting in injuries that required surgery to replace part of his hip.
The measure, which would have established in law that personhood begins at conception, narrowly missed being placed on the ballot this year.
Stadig had stopped outside of the store and was inviting people to sign the personhood petition. A woman indicated she was interested in signing; she said she had to return to the store, but would sign it when she came out. While Stadig waited for her, a man came by who was also invited to sign the petition.
Stadig said the man, who police later identified as Costello, refused to sign and began to swear at him, yelling that he was pro-choice.
Costello initially walked away. However, he returned about a half a minute later, still yelling and swearing.
“He said, ‘You don’t have a right to be here!’” Stadig related, “I said, ‘I do have a right to be here, this is a Colorado Petition Drive.’ Then he grabbed my petition pad and threw me to ground. I was hurt so bad I couldn’t get up.”
The attack left him with a broken hip. According to Stadig, there were around 10-20 people present. Although several people witnessed the assault, no one tried to stop Costello because it happened so quickly.
“It happened so fast, and they were too far away,” Stadig explained.
Costello then left without bothering to see if his victim was injured or not, according to reports.
“After he threw me off the bicycle, he proceeded to leave,” Stadig said. “I was trying to get people to call the police and to get the man’s license plate number, because I couldn’t do it.” Eventually a woman came forward, took the man’s license plate, and wrote a report.
Stadig later learned that his hip had separated and he needed to get a replacement ball socket. While in the hospital he continued to gather signatures for the personhood measure.
Police subsequently arrested Costello and charged him with assault on an at-risk adult because of Stadig’s age. In Colorado, the state’s Katie’s Law requires DNA samples to be taken from every suspected felon upon their arrest, rather than their conviction.
When Costello’s DNA was run through the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s database, it matched the previously unsolved assaults.
Jennifer Mason, a spokeswoman with Personhood USA, said Costello’s actions show he has no respect for the personhood rights of anyone, regardless of age.
“William Costello stands accused as a serial rapist, and as the perpetrator of unthinkable harm,” Mason said. “Not only did he make it abundantly clear to Everett Stadig that he was violently opposed to the personhood rights of innocent children, he is accused of a violent denial and violation of the personhood rights of his victims, as well.”
Following Costello’s attack, Planned Parenthood and other members of the pro-abortion community chose not to come forward and express condemnation for the attack on Stadig.
The silence bears an eerily similarity to another attack on a pro-lifer who, like Stadig, is not a leader in the movement.
In 2009, James Poulion an elderly pro-life supporter was murdered while in a wheelchair outside of a local school in Owosso, Mich. The Detroit News reported that authorities believed Poulion was killed because the shooter was offended by the literature the wheelchair-bound man had displayed.
In the days that followed the shooting there was no outcry from the pro-abortion community condemning the murder.
By contrast, whenever there have been attacks on abortion providers, including the murder of George Tiller, the pro-life community has quickly condemned the murder and announced people were praying for the families of the victims.