June 5, 2013 in City

Rape near UI frat house nets prison


MOSCOW, Idaho – A former University of Idaho student has been sentenced to as many as 15 years in prison for raping another student last fall.

Jesse Vierstra, 20, of Twin Falls, was sentenced by 2nd District Judge Carl B. Kerrick on Monday. Kerrick said Vierstra would have to serve five years in prison before he would be eligible for parole, and he will have to register as a sex offender.

Vierstra was attending a party at the Sigma Chi fraternity house in October when he and the woman walked outside, prosecutors said. The woman told police they began kissing and when she tried to end the encounter, he picked her up, carried her to some bushes and raped her.

The woman testified Monday that she is in constant fear of running into Vierstra or his family, and that she wants to have a normal life again but it has been difficult for that to happen.

Latah County Chief Deputy Prosecutor Michelle Evans presented the judge with three affidavits alleging Vierstra had been accused of similar crimes in the past. The city of Moscow previously charged Vierstra with four counts of misdemeanor battery stemming from separate alleged incidents with two other women, but the city later dropped those charges and Vierstra pleaded guilty to a single count of disturbing the peace.

Vierstra didn’t directly address the rape charge against him and refused to take part in a psychosexual evaluation that the judge ordered him to undergo before sentencing. Vierstra’s attorney, Charles Kovis of Moscow, said his client can’t be rehabilitated for a crime he didn’t commit.

Kerrick told Vierstra that people who don’t admit to having committed a crime despite being convicted pose a serious risk to society. The judge said that was his main concern in this case.

While Vierstra doesn’t pose a risk to the majority of the population, the judge said, he does pose a risk for a group of college-age women.

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