Former Air Force Academy cadet who violently raped female cadet and hit her till she felt 'dazed' faces jail term

20-year-old Alvaro Pablo Velarde was disenrolled from the academy following his indictment and now faces a spell behind bars


                            Former Air Force Academy cadet who violently raped female cadet and hit her till she felt 'dazed' faces jail term

Federal prosecutors in Colorado have reportedly announced that a former Air Force Academy cadet was found guilty of sexually assaulting another cadet. According to a press release by the US Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado, 20-year-old Alvaro Pablo Velarde, of Lima, Peru, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual contact for raping a fellow cadet.

A student at the Air Force Academy, Velarde was accused of violently raping a female cadet in her dorm room on October 23 last year and ignoring multiple pleas by her to stop the sexual assault.

Court documents stated that the victim experienced "severe pain" after the rape and immediately sought medical attention. A sexual assault examination revealed she had suffered physical injuries during the assault, with a doctor at the academy later diagnosing her with a concussion as well. Velarde was subsequently charged by Criminal Complaint on October 25 and indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on November 8, 2018, following which he was disenrolled from the academy.

"Alvaro Pablo Velarde was an international cadet from Peru attending the Air Force Academy but was disenrolled on Jan. 14, 2019," read a statement from the academy. "Since Mr. Velarde was arrested under a federal warrant on a sexual assault charge, we are cooperating fully with federal authorities and allowing their judicial process to take its course."

He was found guilty of his charges by a jury earlier this month, May 2019, following a four-day trial handled by Assistant US Attorneys Peter McNeilly and Emily Treaster in front of US District Court Judge Christine M Arguello in Denver, Colorado. Treaster detailed to the jury how Velarde had ignored the victim's pleas to stop, forced her pants down, forced her onto the bed, sexually assaulted her, and hit her head so hard she felt "dazed", reported St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Speaking after the verdict, US Attorney Jason Dunn said, "The conduct, in this case, is reprehensible not only because of the nature of the crime itself but because of where it occurred. 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," he continued. "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." Velarde was remanded into custody at Jefferson County Jail following the trial's conclusion. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 30, 2019.

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