SANTA MARIA - A former St. Joseph High School student will stand trial for sexually assaulting an underage female classmate but he will not face the more punitive charge of forcible rape.
The preliminary hearing of Shane Villalpando in Santa Maria court was not open to news cameras.
The judge in the case ruled there is sufficient evidence to put Villalpando on trial for felony child abuse, felony sexual assault of an intoxicated person and felony statutory rape.
But Judge Edward Bullard ruled there is not enough evidence to support the charge of felony forcible rape, the most serious charge against Villalpando, involving his alleged teenage victim identified in court as Jane Doe.
Villalpando will return to court on November 15 to re-enter a plea to the charges against him and a trial date will be set.
Villalpando remains free on bail pending the outcome of his case.
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