DENVER – Former Air Force Academy Cadet Alvaro Velarde, 20, was found guilty of two counts of aggravated sexual abuse and one count of abusive sexual conduct for raping a fellow cadet.
The guilty verdicts followed a four-day jury trial at U.S. District Court in Denver.
Velarde was first charged on October 25, 2018, and indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on November 8. The trial started on April 29.
According to court documents, Velarde violently raped a female cadet in her dorm room, ignoring multiple pleas from the victim to stop. The victim experienced severe pain afterward and sought immediate medical attention. A sexual assault examination showed physical injuries from the attack. A doctor at the Academy later diagnosed her with a concussion stemming from the attack.
Velarde was disenrolled from the Air Force Academy before the trial started.
U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn called the case “reprehensible” not only because of the crime, 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,” Dunn said. “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.”