Vierstra trial ongoing


After a three-day trial, a Moscow jury is in deliberation on the fate of former University of Idaho student Jesse Vierstra, who is charged with one count of felony rape.

Both prosecutor Michelle Evans and the defense Chuck Kovis agree the day of the incident began with friendly texts, a couple face-to-face exchanges and a plan to meet up later in the evening at Sigma Chi.

This is where the two sides begin to differ. Evans argues this plan was never fulfilled, that the victim saw Vierstra briefly early on in the night and then again as Vierstra said he was on his way out.

Evans said he asked her to walk him out of the house, but took the path leading down the stairs and out to the back of the house in lieu of the “logical” choice out the front of the building. Evans said this is because Vierstra never intended to leave.

From outside on a bench, Evans said Vierstra kissed the victim, which was ended as soon as it began when two girls walked past. This caused the victim to stand up and then, Evans said, Vierstra grabbed her and carried her to the bushes where he assaulted her.

Kovis characterized the case as one of “shame and blame” and that the sexual contact was consensual and the victim was ashamed of the encounter and was looking for someone to blame.

Kovis also argued because of the presence of amylase — found in saliva and other bodily fluids — oral sex was performed by Vierstra, making his version of events accurate.

As of Thursday night the jury is still in deliberation.

Katy Sword can be reached at

MORE INFO: For updates on the trial follow us on Twitter @uiargonaut and check our website


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