Former Albuquerque Philharmonic Conductor Accused of Sexual Assault A Decade After Death

By Francisco Salazar

Former conductor Elliott L. Higgins of the Albuquerque Philharmonic and traveling musical competition judge has been identified as the suspect in the sexual assaults of two women in Alabama.

The Tuscaloosa Violent Crimes Unit said DNA and genealogy research concluded that Higgins was identified as the suspect in the sexual assault of a University of Alabama student in 1991 and the robbery and sexual assault of a Tuscaloosa real estate agent in 2001.

During the investigation, it was learned that Higgins was a judge at the annual International Horn Competition, which the University of Alabama hosted in the same year and week as the two Alabama assaults.

The investigation also concluded that in 1991, a then-19-year-old student was returning to her off-campus apartment and was leaving her car when the man approached her. “The suspect held her at knifepoint, forced her back in the car, and made her drive to a different location before he raped her.”

He then told the woman that he was a “happily married man” and a former university employee.

In 2001, a man called a real estate agency from a pay phone and asked to see a home. He then assaulted the realtor at knifepoint and stole her jewelry and a watch.

Higgins died in 2014 at the age of 73.