BOULDER, Colo. –
Defense attorneys for Diego Olmos Alcalde, suspected in the 1997 slaying of Susannah Chase, might refute DNA evidence linking him to the crime by saying the two had consensual sex before someone else killed her, prosecutors told a judge Monday.
That’s why jurors in Alcalde’s June murder trial need to hear from several women who claim they, too, were attacked by Alcalde, showing a pattern a “hatred of women,” Boulder County deputy district attorney Amy Okubo told District Judge James Klein during a motions hearing.
“They’re gonna come in here and say that, because the DNA inside of her is irrefutable, he had sex with her, but some other person came along and killed her,” Okubo said.
Defendants’ criminal histories aren’t usually admitted during trials, but state law says there’s a greater need to expose evidence of other relevant acts when prosecuting sex crimes because “sex offenders are extremely habituated.”
Klein is expected to issue a written ruling on this and several other motions heard by the court earlier this month.
Alcalde, 39, was arrested in January 2008 on suspicion of raping and fatally beating Chase, a 23-year-old University of Colorado student, more than 10 years earlier. He faces charges of first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and second-degree kidnapping after a DNA sample he was required to submit because of an unrelated kidnapping conviction matched semen recovered from Chase’s body.
Alcalde was accused in four other attacks, but only convicted in one.
He has maintained his innocence in the Chase case and told investigators he wasn’t in Boulder when the crime occurred. But, Okubo said, Alcalde in the past has either blamed women who made sexual-assault allegations against him or said the sexual encounters were consensual.
“He was already laying the consent defense, which the people suspect he will lay in this case as well,” Okubo said.
In a tape-recorded conversation with a Chilean reporter, Alcalde said he didn’t remember whether he had sex with Chase that night.
“The truth is, I have been very lucky with women in the past,” Alcalde said to the reporter, according to Okubo. “You can be with a woman one night and then, after that, it is, ‘See ya.'”
Alcalde’s attorneys Monday didn’t dispute that they could raise a consensual-sex defense, but defense attorney Mary Claire Mulligan said Alcalde’s criminal history shouldn’t be allowed because the prosecution is trying to paint a “bad character” portrait of her client.
Mulligan also said the prior alleged assaults have as many differences as they have similarities.
None of the women who say they were assaulted by Alcalde were the same age, same race, wore the same type of clothes or were assaulted in the same time of year or location. And, Mulligan said, they aren’t similar to Chase’s killing.
“Not one of the other similar actions involved death or even a serious attempt to cause death,” she said.
Contact Camera Staff Writer Vanessa Miller at 303-473-1329 or firstname.lastname@example.org.