Citing insufficient evidence after an extensive investigation, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office announced Friday that it won’t file charges against the Cal Poly student suspected of raping a college-age woman in May.
Prosecutors issued a news release saying they made the decision not to file criminal charges against Joseph Trupiano — a 23-year-old Cal Poly student arrested on suspicion of raping a woman at a fraternity party.
Trupiano was a member of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity, which hosted the party at 280 California Blvd. on the night of May 7 and early morning of May 8.
The woman reported to police that she woke up naked around noon May 8 at the fraternity house, according to search warrants filed in San Luis Obispo Superior Court by the San Luis Obispo Police Department.
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She acknowledged to police that she consumed a 375-milliliter bottle of Jagermeister liquor and a shot of another unknown liquor at the party.
The woman told police she milled around the complex but couldn’t recall what happened between 1:30 and 3 a.m., according to the warrants.
After waking up, she felt severe pain and said she believed she’d been raped.
Once police began investigating the incident, Trupiano left a message on the woman’s phone to speak with her about it.
The police then set up a recorded phone call between the woman and Trupiano in which he said they’d had consensual sex, according to the warrants.
At one point during the phone conversation, according to the warrants, Trupiano answered in the affirmative when the woman said she’d passed out while in the room. But the timeline of when she may have passed out, whether it was before or after sex, wasn’t specified.
Police believed they had sufficient evidence to arrest Trupiano, who turned himself in May 12.
Prosecutors said their investigation included interviews with numerous individuals, examinations of photographs, analysis of physical evidence and scientific testing, as well as a consideration of phone messages. In its statement, the District Attorney’s Office said that “the decision to reject the case for filing a criminal complaint does not mean that the alleged victim is to be disbelieved or that her description of the events that she can recollect is not credible.”
“The decision not to file criminal charges in this case is based on the fact that there is insufficient evidence to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt,” prosecutors wrote.
Trupiano’s attorney, Gerald Carrasco, couldn’t be reached for comment late Friday. But he previously told The Tribune “my investigation of this case has determined that Mr. Trupiano is not guilty of these allegations and they’re unsupported.”
The decision not to file charges against Trupiano is the third alleged incident of rape at Cal Poly in recent weeks that wasn’t charged in court.
The two alleged rapes May 12 and 15 at Poly Canyon Village housing complex also did not result in criminal charges.
No arrests were made in those cases, and neither of the suspects was publicly named by authorities.