Friday, March 22, 2013

Latah County Jury Determining Fate of Man Accused in U of I Rape

Posted By on Fri, Mar 22, 2013 at 9:16 AM

Jesse Vierstra is charged with rape on the University of Idaho campus.
  • Jesse Vierstra is charged with the rape of a University of Idaho freshman in 2012.

Jesse Vierstra sat before a jury in Moscow's 2nd District Court Thursday and denied raping an 18-year-old University of Idaho freshman during the 2012 homecoming weekend. Vierstra's testimony dominated the third and final day of his rape trial. If convicted, the accused faces possible life in prison.

This morning's Lewiston Tribune reports that the jury will resume deliberations today, following Thursday's testimony from Vierstra and closing arguments from the defense and prosecutors.

During Thursday's testimony, Vierstra insisted that the sexual encounter was consensual and that the victim never told him to stop.

But the Tribune reports that Senior Deputy Latah County Prosecutor Michelle Evans told the jury that the victim made a vow to herself and her parents that she would maintain her virginity throughout her college years.

"She had thought this out," Evans told the jury. "She did not want to have sex with her boyfriend that summer. She wanted to wait until the time is right."

The incident occurred Oct. 6, 2012, outside of the Sigma Chi fraternity house on the U of I campus. The 20-year-old Vierstra attended the university in 2011-2012 and he was a pledge at Sigma Chi before the fraternity said it kicked him out.

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