Lawsuit: Hecht lawyers secretly aired deposition
A woman who claims Nikos Hecht raped her in Mexico in 2014 says the Aspen developer’s attorneys secretly live-streamed her deposition in the case this fall, according to court documents.
The alleged victim’s lawyers didn’t learn that the audio and video feeds were being broadcast until one of her lawyers spoke to a videographer five hours into the Sept. 28 deposition, alleged a motion filed earlier this week in U.S. District Court.
“I was shocked,” said Jennifer Altman, a lawyer at the Miami law firm of Boies, Schiller and Flexner who was representing the alleged victim at the deposition in Denver. “We were all shocked.
“In 25 years I’ve never heard of this being done.”
In an Oct. 14 letter explaining the broadcast, Michael Plachy, one of Hecht’s lawyers, said he spoke with Altman prior to the deposition about the live-stream option. Plachy wrote that Altman didn’t want the live stream on the internet and he assured her that it would be done via a closed-circuit connection, according to the letter, which is provided as an exhibit to the motion.
Altman said she has no recollection of that conversation. Further, she said the parties would have had to agree to the live-stream prior to the deposition, and that didn’t happen. David Bovino, the alleged victim’s Aspen-based lawyer, said Hecht’s lawyers are lying about mentioning the live-stream option to Altman.
“The whole thing is a fabricated lie,” he said. “There was never a conversation about live streaming anything.”
A phone message left for Hecht’s lawyers was not returned Friday.
The live stream was so Hecht could watch the deposition with his lawyer, according to Plachy’s letter. However, Hecht couldn’t make it that day so neither he nor his lawyer watched the deposition, the letter states.
“We were not hiding the closed-circuit connection,” Plachy wrote. “Following (the disclosure of the live stream midway through the deposition), you chose to proceed with the deposition knowing that there was a live stream of the deposition via closed-circuit connection in a nearby conference room.”
Altman said she didn’t stop the deposition to avoid bringing the alleged victim back for another one.
In their motion, Altman and Bovino also say they have no way of knowing who watched the live stream. Bovino said Friday that he has no idea if the stream went live on the internet or was just broadcast via closed circuit.
“(Given) the violation (the alleged victim) suffered at defendant Hecht’s hands in March 2014 and the painful process of undergoing a deposition in the case, the fact that defendant Hecht’s counsel so cavalierly foisted yet another violation on (the alleged victim) is appalling,” Bovino’s motion states.
Bovino and Altman are asking the judge in the case to sanction Hecht’s lawyers and order any further depositions to take place at a neutral site and be paid for by Hecht and his lawyers, according to the motion.
The alleged victim, who was 66 years old at the time of the alleged rape, claims she was on a family vacation in Cabo San Lucas and met the Hecht family. After dinner at a restaurant, Hecht invited the woman on a stroll in nearby gardens and raped her, according to the lawsuit. The woman’s nephew and a friend witnessed part of the incident, the lawsuit alleges.
Hecht was sentenced to two years probation in February after pleading guilty to misdemeanor harassment in connection with a domestic violence case involving his former girlfriend. Bovino also represented the victim in that case.
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A hearing to determine whether a Woody Creek teen will be tried as an adult or a juvenile for his alleged role in sexually assaulting four local girls is scheduled to occur in about two weeks.