BOULDER, Colo. –
One of several women who claims Boulder homicide suspect Diego Olmos Alcalde assaulted her testified Thursday that “it wouldn’t surprise me” if he had killed someone.
Alcalde, 39, is accused of fatally beating University of Colorado student Susannah Chase, 23, near her Boulder home on Dec. 21, 1997. He was arrested last year because his DNA, which was entered into a federal database after an unrelated kidnapping conviction, matched evidence from the Boulder crime scene.
In motions hearings in Boulder County District Court this week, prosecutors are asking to discuss five other reported assaults involving Alcalde during his first-degree murder trial in June.
One of those alleged victims — who said Alcalde violently raped her 11 days after Chase died — said she believes Alcalde “had done it before,” according to a recorded police interview that was played Thursday in court.
“He did it with such ease and confidence,” said the woman, whom the Camera isn’t naming because of its policy not to identify sex-assault victims. “He was that cool, calm and confident about the situation.”
The woman, a convicted prostitute, was deported to the United Kingdom years ago but agreed to answer questions about her alleged attack for Boulder police after Alcalde’s arrest in the Chase homicide.
She told police she was walking along Colfax Avenue in Denver at 2:45 a.m. Jan. 1, 1998, when Alcalde attacked her and forced her into his car. She said he held a knife to her throat and “told me not to scream or he would slit my throat.”
Then, she said, he raped her for what “seemed like a lifetime.” When the woman refused Alcalde’s sexual demands, she said, he kicked her out of a moving car. And, she said, as he drove off he shouted: “If you make it a problem, I’m gonna say it was consented.”
The woman said she’ll never forget his “cold” eyes during the attack.
“He made it known that he has no fear and has no remorse,” she said.
When an officer showed the woman a picture of Alcalde after his arrest in the Chase killing, she said, “He’s as sick looking as he was back then,” and, “They need to castrate him.”
“I just hope this time that they get it right over there, and they lock him up,” she said. “They need to. He’s a danger to women.”
Public defender Mary Claire Mulligan questioned the validity of the woman’s allegations, citing her long criminal history of false reporting to police, prostitution and drug possession. Mulligan said a detective reported in 1998 that when he was talking with the woman about the alleged assault she seemed “more concerned about her money, bus tokens and car.”
Alcalde told police he knew the woman as a prostitute and had had sex with her before, according to court documents, and Mulligan said he proved he knew personal things about the victim by correctly telling police about her 13-year-old son and where she lived.
After information surfaced that the woman was HIV positive, she failed to follow up with officers, Mulligan said. The Denver District Attorney’s Office never filed charges because a conviction was unlikely, she said. It’s unclear whether Alcalde has been tested for HIV.
Prosecutors have argued that jurors should hear testimony from women who say they were Alcalde’s victims because, according to Colorado law, there’s a greater need to consider “other relevant acts of the accused” in sex-offense cases.
But in court Thursday, Mulligan questioned a Boulder detective about how sure he is that Chase was sexually assaulted by the person who beat her to death.
Boulder detective Chuck Heidel, who has been on the Chase case from its start, confirmed that one doctor concluded there was “no sexual assault in Chase’s case.” That doctor found no evidence of trauma, redness, swelling or abrasions in or around Chase’s genitalia, Mulligan said.
But upon further investigation, Heidel said, detectives determined Chase was raped, and they found semen inside her after her death. The semen matched Alcalde’s DNA, according to police.
Prosecutor Amy Okubo said Thursday that when a Chilean reporter asked Alcalde if he was with Chase the night she died, he responded, “I don’t remember.”
He has maintained his innocence to police, saying he was not in Boulder at the time of the homicide.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Vanessa Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-473-1329.