Last suspect apprehended in 2004 rape of twelve-year-old girl

Domingo Lopez-Avaloy.

In August of 2004, a twelve-year-old girl was assaulted by four men in the Heatherwood Apartments in Aurora. She told police that hands came from all directions, tearing her clothes off, touching her breasts, putting fingers inside her, raping her. The officers found the girl's Superman underpants in the crumpled bedsheets of apartment 210, where one of the men had been staying.

A few days earlier, the girl had run away from a state detention facility to be with her mother, who'd lost custody of her daughter when she went to prison in 1999. Luke Turf told the story of the tragic steps that had led the girl to Heatherwood that day in "Hanging Out," a December 2004 Westword feature.

On October 2, the last of the four suspects charged in connection with the case -- Domingo Lopez-Avaloy, a 24-year-old Honduran -- was arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Investigators from the Fugitive Location and Apprehension Group -- a multi-agency task force -- were working with America's Most Wanted to profile Lopez-Avaloy when the case took a turn in Charlotte. Lopez-Avaloy had given police an alias and a different date of birth, but a photograph and fingerprints of David Reyez Lopez were matched to his. Acting on a lead from FLAG, North Carolina investigators tracked down Lopez-Avaloy and arrested him.

Lopez-Avaloy is currently in custody, awaiting extradition to be tried for kidnapping and sexual assault. Of the other three men accused of the crime, one was sentenced to a year in prison, one was acquitted, and one is serving a life term.

Their victim, now sixteen, has disappeared back into the system.-- Patricia Calhoun

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun