Former Air Force Academy Cadet Found Guilty of Raping Classmate

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The Cadet Chapel and F-16 reflect on the tiles of The Terrazzo at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Oct. 31, 2018 after a few inches of snowfall blanketed the region overnight. (U.S. Air Force photo/Trevor Cokley)
The Cadet Chapel and F-16 reflect on the tiles of The Terrazzo at the U.S. Air Force Academy on Oct. 31, 2018 after a few inches of snowfall blanketed the region overnight. (Trevor Cokley/U.S. Air Force)

A former Air Force Academy cadet has been found guilty of sexually assaulting another cadet.

Alvaro Pablo Velarde, 20, of Lima, Peru, was convicted Thursday, in federal court in Denver on two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's Colorado district office.

The guilty verdicts followed a four-day trial in front of U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello. At the time of the assaults, Velarde was an academy cadet, as was the victim. Velarde, who was in custody during the trial, was remanded when the verdict was rendered.

On Oct. 23, Velarde "violently raped a female cadet in her dorm room," according to the release. "He ignored multiple pleas to stop the sex assault."

The victim suffered severe pain and immediately sought medical attention, the release said. A medical examination revealed physical and sexual assault injuries; an Air Force doctor diagnosed that the victim suffered a concussion during the assault.

Velarde was criminally charged Oct. 25 and indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on Nov. 8. He was disenrolled from the academy after the indictment.

"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 in the release. "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."

The case was investigated by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. Velarde is scheduled to be sentenced July 30.

This article is written by Kieran Nicholson from Denver Post and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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