A Cal Poly student suspected of rape said that he had consensual sex with a woman at a fraternity party, but the woman told police she blacked out that night and woke up with severe pain she thought was the result of a sexual assault, according to two search warrants filed by the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
The warrants describe the events that led to the arrest of 23-year-old Joseph Trupiano on suspicion of rape.
Trupiano hasn’t been charged by the District Attorney’s Office. Chief Deputy District Attorney Jerret Gran said it would be inappropriate for the office to comment until a decision is made.
Trupiano’s attorney, Gerald Carrasco, said Tuesday that “my investigation of this case has determined that Mr. Trupiano is not guilty of these allegations and they’re unsupported.”
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The woman reported to police May 8 that she went to a party at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house at 280 California Blvd. on May 7 at about 11 p.m. The warrants summarize her statements.
She said she hadn’t consumed any alcohol prior to the party. At the gathering, she drank a 375-milliliter bottle (the equivalent of about a dozen shots) of Jagermeister liquor (an herbal liquor with 35 percent alcohol) and a shot of another unknown liquor.
The woman said she milled around the complex but cannot recall what might have happened between 1:30 and 3 a.m. When she woke up naked around noon May 8, she felt severe pain and believed she’d been raped. She also found scratches on her arms.
Police served a search warrant at the fraternity house and found the woman’s underwear that she’d reported missing hanging from a palm tree in the courtyard.
A day after her report, police didn’t have a suspect, but the woman said she received a call May 9 from a man named “Joe.”
Police investigator Chad Pfarr then collaborated with the woman to record three separate phone calls between her and Trupiano, who didn’t know the calls were being recorded. The warrant states the conversations were as follows.
In the first conversation, they discussed whether Trupiano had any sexually transmitted diseases, which he said he didn’t. In any case, he said he’d used a condom.
In another call, Trupiano asked her how she was feeling and said they’d met for the first time the night of the party.
Then she asked why he thought it was “OK to do what he did if he knew she was super drunk and out of it,” the warrant states without direct quotes.
Trupiano said she was being very flirtatious the night of the party and said they were both drunk. He said she grabbed his hand, leading him into a room at the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity house and said “take me somewhere or let’s do it, or something like that,” the warrant states.
Trupiano was about to describe what happened in the room when she interrupted and said she “passed out.”
Trupiano replied, “Yeah,” but went on to give a rambling answer, saying that he didn’t think the incident could be classified as rape because he’d gotten her consent. She’d undressed herself, and when he asked her if she was free of sexually transmitted diseases, she’d responded “yes.”
According to the warrant, Trupiano didn’t specify in the conversation at what point she may have “passed out.” The woman didn’t ask specifically whether it was before or after sex.
The woman then hung up, telling police she was upset because Trupiano had already told her she had passed out and then said she gave consent and took her clothes off. That was the second time the woman hung up the phone.
When they connected a third time, Trupiano said he wanted to meet in person to clear up what happened.
Pfarr arrested Trupiano on May 12 after he’d agreed to go to the San Luis Obispo Police Department with Carrasco. At police headquarters, Carrasco advised his client not to make a statement.