The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

The student newspaper of Washington and Lee University

The Ring-tum Phi

Former first-year sentenced to six years in prison

Ricardo Vergara, formerly ’26, was sentenced Monday in Rockbridge Circuit Court after pleading guilty to a rape charge
Jenny Hellwig
Ricardo Vergara will spend six years in prison and five on probation.

A former first year will spend six years in prison after pleading guilty to the rape of a Washington and Lee student that took place on campus last year. 

Judge Christopher Russell on Monday sentenced Ricardo Vergara, a former member of the class of 2026, to 24 years in prison with 18 years suspended. 

After he gets out, Vergara will have to spend five years on probation, register as a sex offender and refrain from contact with the victim. 

Vergara admitted to one felony charge of rape Dec. 13 as part of a plea deal. He had originally faced three charges—two felonies and one misdemeanor. 

Prosecutor Andrew Squires said that he and his office were happy with the sentence.

“Justice was done,” he said. 

The six-year sentence was lower than what prosecutors had asked for. They requested that Vergara be sentenced to between 12 to 15 years. 

But the low-end of a sentence for rape is about 3 and a half years, Squires said. 

Vergara will serve out his sentence in a Virginia Department of Corrections facility, Squires said. He said he doesn’t yet know which one. 

A female Washington and Lee student had reported Vergara to the police Feb. 2, 2023 for sexually assaulting her a month prior. 

Squires previously told the Phi that Detective Nathan Kesterson interviewed Vergara in early February 2023, at which time Vergara admitted what he did was wrong. 

Another student also told the Phi last March that she had filed a Title IX complaint against Vergara a few days after he sexually assaulted her in October 2022. The university took no disciplinary action in that case, the student said.

Washington and Lee Spokesperson Drewry Sackett said at the time that she couldn’t discuss specific sexual misconduct cases. She told the Phi that Vergara was no longer enrolled at the university as of March 3, 2023. 

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  • J

    Jeff Lawson Class of 68Apr 12, 2024 at 12:23 pm

    Washington and Lee had a group named “Speak” at one time that tried to address theissue of Sexual Assualt at Washinto & Lee. I wonder if it is still active on campus.?

  • R

    Robert Owen 1988Apr 8, 2024 at 9:39 pm

    Well, I’m glad to see Justice done but this reminds me again of the injustice that Rockbridge County did in 1991 in the case of Blake Comer ‘90 who struck and killed Mary Ashley Scarborough (I think ‘ 91) and was sentenced to five years in prison with 4 1/2 suspended so I only serve six months

    Comer killed her in the winter of 89 & sent the car home to South Carolina with his brother, who had been visiting at the time of the incident, after driving it to DC to have repaired.

    His actions were not discovered until he let something slip or, more likely, somebody developed a guilty conscience & ratted him out to the police in the fall of 90 as I do not believe for one minute that the other brothers in his fraternity “failed” to remember that the brother had been there or that he had taken that car home when they knew what model car they were looking for from the debris.