Former U of I Student, Convicted of Rape, Sentenced to Five Years in Prison

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Jesse Vierstra was found guilty March 22 of the October 2012 rape of a University of Idaho student.
  • Jesse Vierstra was found guilty March 22 of the October 2012 rape of a University of Idaho student.

A 20-year-old former University of Idaho student was sentenced June 3 to a minimum of five years in prison with no possibility of parole and a maximum of 15 years in prison for his conviction of the rape of a U of I student during the university's homecoming weekend in October 2012.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that Vierstra continued to say he was innocent of the crime prior to the sentencing in a Moscow courtroom by Second District Judge Carl Kerrick.

Vierstra was arrested Oct. 7, 2012 after Moscow Police received a complaint from the parents of the alleged victim, saying she had been raped outside of the Sigma Chi fraternity house on the U of I campus. According to court records, Vierstra was a former pledge at Sigma Chi, but was kicked out of the fraternity in 2011.

A Latah County jury deliberated for four hours on March 22 before returning the guilty verdict.

Vierstra was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, court costs and $1,096 in restitution to the victim and her family. Vierstra must also register as a sex offender. A no-contact order for the victim and her family stays in effect.

The Tribune reports that the victim took the stand on June 3 to tell the court that she was "in constant fear of running into Vierstra or his family."

According to the Tribune, prior to giving the sentence, Kerrick told Vierstra that "people like him—those who do not admit to having committed the crime despite being convicted—pose a serious risk to society."

Kerrick was presented with several letters of support for Vieerstra from his family, friends and former teachers.

"They have not seen the side of you that I have in this case," said Kerrick. "They have not seen the side of you that (the victim) did."

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