A former UC Santa Barbara student was sentenced to six months in jail on Monday for the rape of a female classmate in June 2015.
Shuhei Nakata, 22, was charged on two felony counts of rape by use of drugs and sexual penetration by foreign object. He will serve six months in Santa Barbara County Jail with five years of probation, and he may be deported to his birth country of Japan due to the nature of his conviction.
The female UCSB student filed a report against Nakata to the Isla Vista Foot Patrol on June 28, 2015, saying she had been sexually assaulted.
According to Nakata’s probation report, the assault occurred two days before when the woman had gone to dinner with him and several other friends. She said in the report that she had two to three beers over a period of two hours, and she and her friends then went to Nakata’s house.
Nakata poured shots for the group at his house and gave the woman one to two shots of an “unknown alcoholic beverage,” the report states. She later told law enforcement officials that she blacked out and had difficulty recalling what occurred afterward, but she remembered walking home with the defendant and three other males.
Her roommates said in the report that Nakata stayed behind after the three other males left and went to the woman’s room saying that he had left his shoes there. The roommates later forgot he was still in the house and only recalled his presence when another roommate heard two people having sexual intercourse in the woman’s room.
The roommates knocked on the locked door when they heard the sounds, the report states, but they did not receive any response.
When the woman woke up the next morning, she felt pain in her genitals and she found her pants in the room with the button and zipper still closed, according to the report. She also stated that the amount of alcohol she consumed should not have caused her to black out.
On July 1, the woman agreed to speak with Nakata on the phone. He apologized multiple times and said they had “hooked up for a little bit” and “it led to sex.”
“It’s been weighing on me a lot because … you probably were completely blacked out later on and that was absolutely not okay to happen,” he said to her on the phone.
Nakata told her that he realized it was “definitely not okay” when, during intercourse, the woman called him by the name of another friend.
On July 2, 2015, Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested Nakata at his house. He then admitted that “I did keep going for a little more” after she called him the wrong name. When asked if the woman would have engaged in sexual intercourse with him if she was completely sober, Nakata replied, “Honestly, probably no.”
“In light of that, I probably took advantage of the fact that you were very intoxicated, and that is what I’m very sorry for,” he told the woman during their phone call.
The woman had known him since September 2014 and had never been in a sexual relationship with him. They were both students at the time of the assault, but Nakata dropped out of UCSB after completing his third year.
He wrote an apology letter to her after being arrested and his probation evaluation initially recommended a “low term” of three years in prison without probation.
“Due to the nature and the location of the offense, the defendant should be deemed a danger to young college women reaching their legal age,” the evaluation states.
He was granted his final sentencing, however, after prosecutor Von Nguyen negotiated a plea deal with his defense attorney, Catherine Swyson. Nguyen said the victim’s family was very involved in the court proceedings and the victim “very much wanted to put this past her.”
“We got to this resolution with her agreement,” Nguyen said. “Ultimately, my goal is to make sure she’s okay.”
“I feel it was a little unfair,” said Nakata when asked about the plea deal, the probation report states. Swysen could not be reached for comment.
Nakata was a member of the lacrosse team at UCSB and worked at software company Cielo24 at the time of his arrest. He was a resident of Northern California before he came to Santa Barbara for college.
He has been serving time in the Santa Barbara County Jail since June and has 54 days left on his sentence. After he is released, he will begin federal processing through United States immigration services to determine his residency status in the country.