Tuesday, October 13 , 2015, 8:45 pm | A Few Clouds 74º

Ex-St. Joseph Student Rejects Plea Deal, Will Go to Trial

By Gina Potthoff, Noozhawk Staff Writer | @ginapotthoff |

An 18-year-old former St. Joseph High School student accused of raping a fellow student is headed to trial, where he will face lesser charges.

Shane Villalpando
Shane Villalpando

Shane Villalpando, who graduated from Righetti High School in June, was charged in April with raping a 14-year-old girl while he was a student at the Orcutt Catholic high school.

Villalpando, who posted bail and is not in custody, appeared in Superior Court in Santa Maria on Thursday, at which time he rejected a plea offer that would have staved off trial, according to Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens.

Jury selection is set to begin May 10 and is expected to last about 10 days, said Jebens, who would not reveal details of the plea offer.

Villalpando is next scheduled to appear in Santa Maria court May 9 for a trial confirmation hearing.

Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge Edward Bullard ruled in November that Villalpando would be held for three felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor, three felony counts of child abuse and one felony count of rape by use of drugs.

Villalpando was originally also charged with three felony counts of forcible rape, one felony count of administering a drug and one felony count of dissuading a witness.

The 14-year-old victim’s complaint alleges Villalpando raped her on multiple occasions between Jan. 28 and April 13, and then tried to prevent or dissuade her from reporting the incidents to the police.

Villalpando, whose arraignment was delayed several times, took one week to examine the prosecutor’s proposed deal before rejecting the offer.

Noozhawk staff writer Gina Potthoff can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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