Judge denies motions in Nikos Hecht case | AspenTimes.com

Judge denies motions in Nikos Hecht case

A Pitkin County judge denied a motion Monday to appoint a special prosecutor in the domestic-violence case against a prominent Aspen developer.

Lawyers for the alleged victim in the case claimed the District Attorney's Office isn't fully investigating criminal allegations against Nikos Hecht; isn't consulting with the alleged victim about decisions in the case, including a plea deal; and isn't enforcing a protection order meant to keep her safe.

District Attorney Sherry Caloia denied those allegations in court documents and said a special prosecutor isn't necessary or appropriate.

Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely said the motion by the alleged victim in the case asking for the special prosecutor was misfiled. It should be filed as a separate case against Caloia in either county or district court depending on whether felony or misdemeanor charges are applicable, according to Fernandez-Ely's order.

Hecht is charged with assault, harassment and menacing — all misdemeanors — in connection with an incident that occurred at his home in late July between him and his former girlfriend.

In the motion filed last month, the victim claims the alleged physical abuse against her that occurred the night of July 26, including choking her and causing a head injury when he pushed her to the ground, constitutes felony charges, according to the motion. She also says threats by Hecht to kill her and her family should be investigated.

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The motion also said Hecht violated the protection order in the case forbidding any contact with the alleged victim when he attempted to contact her three times in early October using the Apple phone application Facetime. However, the District Attorney's Office said in a follow-up court filing that it cannot prove the calls came from Hecht, according to court documents.

On Monday, Fernandez-Ely also denied a motion by Hecht's lawyer to close hearings and seal documents they anticipate will be filed alleging prior criminal acts by Hecht. Extensive media coverage of such hearings and documents would violate his right to a fair trial, his lawyer said.

"Extensive media coverage has not proven to be any different in this case than all others in Pitkin County," Fernandez-Ely wrote in her order denying the motion. "There is insufficient prejudice or proof that such media coverage would result in an inability to seat a fair and impartial jury."

A hearing will be held Jan. 4 to determine a court date for the case.

jauslander@aspentimes.com