One of the named victims in Aidan Atkinson’s sex assault case has spoken out against the possibility a Boulder judge may close his preliminary hearing to the public.
Atkinson, 18, was arrested and charged in November after investigators say he sexually assaulted multiple young women on a party bus in September 2018.
The former Fairview quarterback is set for a preliminary hearing on March 31 to determine whether there is probable cause to move the case forward, but Atkinson’s attorneys asked that the courtroom be closed for the hearing due to concerns about media coverage.
Boulder District Judge Ingrid Bakke said at a previous hearing she was considering the closure over concerns for Atkinson, the named victims, and the Fairview High School and Boulder communities.
But one of the named victims, through her attorney, indicated she is against the hearing being closed to the public.
“It is incredibly important for the community to have access to court proceedings not only to maintain confidence in our judicial system, but also to facilitate the healing process,” wrote Laura Wolf, partner at Denver law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai and victim’s representative of one of the named victims in a statement to the Camera on Friday. “Closing the courthouse doors to the public not only shields from view those matters in which there is a serious public interest, but it places a burden on victims to maintain secrecy for the sake of the accused. Transparency is necessary to ensure that victims’ lived experiences are understood and their voices heard.”
Bakke has not yet publicly announced a ruling on the hearing.