Chester honor roll student faces potential life sentence
Two teen girls say they were drunk when sexually assaulted
WHITE RIVER JUNCTION - A senior honor roll student at Green Mountain Union High School is facing up to life in prison after authorities charged him on Tuesday with two counts of rape and suggested that additional similar charges may be forthcoming.
Ryan Stocker, 18, who has already been accepted to a college where he was planning to pursue a business major, will not attend the GMUHS graduation this Friday, his defense attorney told the court, and Stocker will also skip the remaining days of school in part because being there would place him within 300 feet of his putative victims.
During Tuesday afternoon’s hearing at the Windsor County Courthouse in downtown White River Junction, Stocker entered innocent pleas to two counts of felony sexual assault without consent, charges that in Vermont carry a minimum of three years in jail and a maximum potential penalty of up to life, if he were to be convicted.
Ludlow Police Detective Sgt. Richard King wrote in an affidavit filed with the court that a 16-year-old girl came forward to authorities in October and reported that she thought she had been sexually assaulted by Stocker after she got drunk and spent the night with several teens at a mutual acquaintance’s house in Ludlow.
The girl told investigators that she remembered drinking several beers, throwing up and being “extremely drowsy” and getting into a bed with her clothes on, the detective recounted.
“She woke the following morning very disoriented and confused” to find Stocker in bed with her, the affidavit continued, and she told police that Stocker explained to her “we had sex” and “acted like it was no big deal.”
The teen told police “she felt like she was on drugs” as she gathered up her clothing and possessions before leaving the gathering.
Chester Police Officer Andrew Brothers described a similar incident that allegedly took place in May of this year where an 18-year-old student initially contacted the Guidance Office at the high school and told school officials that she thought Stocker had sexually taken advantage of her after she had been drinking at a party with several high school and college students.
Officer Brothers said that when he interviewed Stocker about that allegation Stocker allegedly explained that he and the girl both had initiated a sexual encounter “mutually” but then halted when she changed her mind midway through it.
Although the teen told police she had a limited recollection of what happened she stressed that “she was not okay” with the parts she did remember clearly of the alleged sexual activity.
Stocker told investigators he had been “highly intoxicated” during the encounter and added that he thought the girl “had a significant amount to drink as well,” Brothers wrote in his report.
Judge Theresa DiMauro cited the reports that large amounts of alcohol were reported to be involved in the allegations as one of the reasons she was declining to go along with the hold-without-bail request that was made by the state’s attorneys on Tuesday.
Instead, the judge released Stocker to his parents but ordered him to observe a strict 24-hour-a-day curfew at their residence in Chester while his case was pending. He was also ordered not to consume any alcohol and not to have any contact with females under the age of 18 while his cases are pending.
The judge noted reports by the investigators that they were following up on additional allegations of similar behavior by Stocker which in one case reportedly involved a female as young as fifteen. The judge said from the bench that if any of those rumors were to in fact result in additional charges she could reconsider her decision as to pre-trial detention.
Ryan Stocker, 18, of Chester faces between 3-years and up to life, if he were to be convicted of either charge
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