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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Colorado

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 2, 2019

Former Air Force Academy Cadet Convicted Of Raping Fellow Cadet

Defendant Alvaro Pablo Velarde Is A Citizen Of Lima, Peru

DENVER – Alvaro Pablo Velarde, age 20, of Lima, Peru, was found guilty today of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact for raping a fellow cadet, U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn announced.  The guilty verdicts followed a four-day jury trial in front of U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello in Denver, Colorado.  Velarde was a student at the Air Force Academy, as was the victim.  The defendant was in custody before and during the trial and was remanded at the trial’s conclusion.

Velarde was first charged by Criminal Complaint on October 25, 2018.  He was then indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on November 8, 2018.  The jury trial started on April 29, 2019.  The jury’s verdict was announced today, May 2, 2019.  The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30, 2019. 

According to court documents and facts presented by prosecutors at trial, on October 23, 2018, at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Velarde, a cadet, violently raped a female cadet in her dorm room.  He ignored multiple pleas to stop the sex assault.  Afterward, the victim experienced severe pain and immediately sought medical attention.  A sexual assault examination revealed physical injuries sustained during the sexual assault, and a doctor at the Air Force Academy later diagnosed her with a concussion sustained during the assault. 

After the incident, but prior to trial, Velarde was disenrolled from the Air Force Academy. 

“The conduct in this case is reprehensible not only because of the nature of the crime itself, but because of where it occurred,” said U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn. “Our service academies are national treasures.  We send our best and brightest young adults there to become soldiers and to serve our country.  It is the last place one should be attacked so violently.  We are pleased that justice was done.  The victim showed tremendous courage throughout this ordeal and I am proud that she will someday be defending our country as an Air Force officer.”

This case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations.  The jury trial was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter McNeilly and Emily Treaster.

Topic(s): 
Violent Crime
Component(s): 
Contact: 
Jeff Dorschner Spokesman, Public Affairs Officer U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Colorado 303-454-0243 direct; 303-454-0400 fax
Press Release Number: 
CASE NUMBER: 18-cr-00525
Updated May 2, 2019