Domestic violence victim sues Nikos Hecht in federal court
Aspen developer and hedge-funder Nikos Hecht was hit with a second lawsuit Wednesday in federal court, this time by an ex-girlfriend who claims he physically and mentally abused her, got her hooked on drugs and manipulated her into having two abortions.
The plaintiff is the woman who complained to local authorities in late July that Hecht had pushed her to the ground at his Owl Creek Ranch Road home. The push-down — the victim hit her head on the ground — was the culmination of what she described as a “night of terror” at the hands of Hecht.
The complaint led to the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Office arresting Hecht in August on domestic-violence charges. He is serving two years of probation after he pleaded guilty in February to misdemeanor harassment in Pitkin County Court. As part of the probation, Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely also ordered him to abstain from alcohol and drug use, pay a fine of $750 and do 10 hours a week of community service for the next year.
The woman’s 41-page lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court in Denver, also the venue for another civil complaint against Hecht. That suit, filed by a Florida woman, accuses Hecht of raping her at a Mexican resort in March 2015. The woman was 66 at the time, while her nephew and a friend allegedly witnessed part of the sexual assault, the suit alleges. Hecht, a divorced father of three, is now 45.
Court records show the Denver law firm Ridley McGreevy & Winocur P.C. is defending Hecht in that case. The firm didn’t respond to messages The Aspen Times left with it Thursday. Hecht hasn’t respondent to requests seeking comment since last summer’s arrest.
Meanwhile, Wednesday’s lawsuit includes allegations made in the Aspen criminal case and features a slew of threatening text messages Hecht sent to the plaintiff. It also accuses Hecht of twice forcing the plaintiff to have abortions against her will.
Both times, Hecht convinced her to terminate her pregnancies by threatening her and promising to marry her, the lawsuit says.
One was administered Dec. 20, 2014, while the two were in Mexico. Hecht had a Mexican doctor — “who also happened to be Mr. Hecht’s source of controlled substances in Mexico,” the suit says — give the plaintiff drugs to end her pregnancy. This was done despite an Aspen doctor previously telling the woman she was too early in her pregnancy to have an abortion because there was a chance her pregnancy was ectopic.
The procedure left the woman in “excruciating abdominal pain,” the suit says, noting that the abortion wasn’t completed. In turn, Hecht gave her strong pain medication and she eventually became addicted to it, the suit says.
When she returned to Aspen from Mexico, a physician said she would need to undergo a second chemical termination to complete the abortion, the suit says. She also was hospitalized in Aspen because of the pain brought on by the procedure.
The couple remained together and bought an apartment in New York in June 2015. The plaintiff became pregnant again, wanting to have the baby, the suit says.
But Hecht threatened to cut her off financially, among other things, if she didn’t have an abortion, the suit says. The woman returned to Aspen later that month and had a chemical abortion in an Aspen hotel room. At the same time, Hecht tried to have her go to Los Angeles for the abortion while he lined up a $7,000 prostitute in Aspen, the suit alleges.
The suit accuses Hecht of committing assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligence.
“When Hecht could not get his girlfriend (and purported former fiancee) … to do what he wanted, when he wanted it, and how he wanted it, he would berate and threaten her with chilling and unspeakable violence,” says the suit, filed by Aspen attorney David Bovino, Houston lawyer Maria-Vittoria G. Carminati, and the New York-based firm Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP.
“She’s looking forward to having her day in court,” Bovino said Thursday.
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David Lesh’s latest saga of alleged abuse of public lands is scheduled to go to trial in July.