Investigators are searching for other possible victims of an 18-year-old man arrested earlier this year for allegedly raping students from two Santa Maria Valley high schools, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.
Detectives took Shane Villalpando of Santa Maria into custody on rape charges April 20, and the District Attorney’s Office filed charges four days later, accusing him of rape, illegal administration of a drug, unlawful sex with a minor, and dissuading a witness, said Sgt. Mark Williams.
Authorities allege that Villalpando committed the crimes between Jan. 28 and April 13 of this year, and said the victims were students at St. Joseph and Righetti high schools, both in Orcutt.
Villalpando is facing three counts of forcible rape, with the first occurring on Jan. 28, the second on Feb. 4 and another a week later on Feb. 11, according to the criminal complaint filed in Santa Maria Superior Court after Villalpando’s arrest.
Also mentioned is one count of rape by use of drugs, which allegedly occurred on Feb. 4, and one count of illegal administration of a drug, which occurred on the same day.
He is also facing three counts of unlawful sexual intercourse, on Jan. 28, Feb. 4 and 11. And he is facing a count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, which allegedly occurred on April 13.
The complaint does not list how many different victims there are, only listing each victim as “Jane Doe,” a 14-year-old female.
Villalpando has posted bail of $300,000 and has been released. His next court appearance will be Aug. 23.
Investigators believe there may be other victims and witnesses in the community, and are asking any additional witnesses to come forward. Any with information is being asked to contact Det. Matthew Fenske at 934-6177 or DA Investigator Marissa Tanore at 346-7458.
Villalpando’s case is related to the criminal charges filed last week against the principal and a former administrator at St. Joseph High School in Orcutt, Williams said. The pair allegedly failed to report suspected child sexual abuse to law enforcement.
Principal Joseph Myers and former Dean of Students John Walker face the misdemeanor charges stemming from a sexual assault allegedly committed by two other students against a 16-year-old victim identified only as Jane Doe. Both men are considered “mandated reporters” under state law.
Myers and Walker were told of the assault by the victim and her parents, according to District Attorney Joyce Dudley, but did not share the information with the Sheriff’s Department. The complaint states that Myers and Walker failed to report the assault between Sept. 14, 2011, and April 5, 2012.