H-SANTA MARIA

Nov 1, 2012 7:57 PM by Caroline Lowe, Nikki Ibarra

Judge drops some charges against teen charged in St. Joe's sexual assault case

A Santa Maria judge dismissed two of the nine charges Thursday afternoon against 18-year-old Shane Villalpando, who was charged with sexually assaulting a 14- year- old female fellow student at St. Joseph's High School in Orcutt.

Judge Edward Bullard decided there is insufficient evidence for Villalpando to be held for forcible rape. But he still faces several other felony charges, including sex with a minor and child endangerment.

The case is one of several involving former St. Joe's students and administrators.

In early October, an 18 year-old former student pleaded no contest to raping another student. Former dean, John Walker, and former principal, Joseph Myers, were convicted of failure to report an alleged sexual assault.

Cameras weren't allowed in the courtroom Thursday. The prosecution called Detective Matt Fenske of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Department to the stand. Detective Fenske interviewed the then 14 year-old alleged victim, referred to as Jane Doe, shortly before charges were filed against Villalpando.

During Thursday's testimony, Detective Fenske gave a peek into the alleged relationship between Villalpando and Jane Doe.

Jane Doe told Detective Fenske she snuck out a couple of times to meet up with Villalpando and friends. But during these meetings, Jane Doe said she "intimidated" by Villalpando.

Jane Doe also told Detective Fenske that sometimes, she felt Villalpando understood her boundaries but he repeatedly asked to have sex with her.

Villalpando's attorney portrayed the alleged victim as a willing participant in a consensual sexual relationship with Villalpando.

Villalpando will be back in court November 15 for another hearing.

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