Judge: No special prosecutor in Hecht case

Jason Auslander
The Aspen Times

A Pitkin County judge decided not to wait until next week to hear arguments about whether to appoint a special prosecutor in the domestic- violence case against a prominent Aspen landlord.

Instead, Judge Erin Fernandez-Ely denied the motion late Wednesday afternoon because the victim in the domestic violence case — who filed the petition — “failed to prove by clear and convincing evidence that the District Attorney’s decision not to prosecute was arbitrary, capricious or without justifiable cause,” according to Fernandez-Ely’s order.

Nikos Hecht, a member of a prominent Aspen family and a wealthy landlord and developer, was arrested in August and charged with assault, harassment and menacing, all misdemeanors. The case came out of a July 26 dispute between Hecht and his former girlfriend.

The former girlfriend, however, has maintained that District Attorney Sherry Caloia failed to properly investigate, charge and handle the case.

The former girlfriend said Hecht should be facing felonies in the case. Also, she said Caloia did not adequately investigate an alleged bond violation that took place Oct. 10.

At that time, the former girlfriend said she received three Apple Facetime messages from Hecht’s phone.

Caloia later talked to Hecht’s father, Andy Hecht, and determined that one of Nikos Hecht’s young children made the calls and that “there was reasonable doubt that the contact was knowingly committed by Hecht rather than his child,” according to Fernandez-Ely’s order.

Andy Hecht is a partner in the prominent Aspen law firm Garfield and Hecht.

A similar petition in District Court asking for a special prosecutor was denied by District Judge Denise Lynch earlier this month.

The domestic-violence charges against Nikos Hecht are still pending.