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Sunday, November 18 , 2018, 2:58 pm | Fair with Haze 67º


Ex-St. Joseph Student Accused of Rape Due in Court

An 18-year-old former St. Joseph High School student accused of raping a fellow student is scheduled to be in court next week for a preliminary hearing.

Shane Villalpando, who graduated from Righetti High School in June, was charged in April with allegedly 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 to confirm next Thursday’s hearing, according to Deputy District Attorney Brandon Jebens.

Villalpando faces three felony counts of forcible rape, three felony counts of unlawful sex with a minor, one felony count of rape by use of drugs, one felony count of administering a drug and one felony count of dissuading a witness.

The alleged victim told investigators that 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.

In addition to the case against Villalpando, the District Attorney’s Office filed misdemeanor failure-to-report charges against former St. Joseph Principal Joe Myers and former Dean of Students John Walker.

Both administrators were convicted Oct. 2 of failing to report the sexual assault of a 16-year-old student. They were “mandated reporters” under state law because of their positions of responsibility with the school.

Walker and Myers, who was put on paid leave and resigned following the conviction, face up to six months in County Jail and a $1,000 fine when they’re sentenced Tuesday.

Villalpando and another student, who was charged as a juvenile, were suspected in the assault of the 16-year-old victim.

Jebens said Thursday that Villalpando was charged only with the assault of one victim.

At next week’s preliminary hearing, prosecutors will attempt to convince a judge there is enough evidence to proceed with a trial.

Jebens said a judge is reviewing some of the victim’s Facebook records to decide whether they should be included.

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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