The sentencing of former UCSB soccer player Eric Frimpong was postponed yesterday, allowing a presiding judge to now consider a motion for retrial of the felony rape case.
Frimpong’s sentencing is now rescheduled for Feb. 28, at which time Judge Brian E. Hill will also decide whether a retrial is necessary. According to Deputy District Attorney Mary Barron, the court postponed sentencing yesterday because Frimpong’s probation officer had not completed a sentencing recommendation prior to the hearing. The probation officer was unable to complete his report due to a family emergency.
The report in question is a recommendation to the judge for sentencing based on the officer’s interviews with the defendant and a review of the facts and circumstances of the case. Both the prosecutor and defense lawyer are also afforded the opportunity to submit a recommendation to the judge for sentencing.
According to Barron, Frimpong faces a sentence of three, six or eight years in state prison.
Meanwhile, Frimpong’s defense attorney Robert Sanger has filed a motion for retrial. Although the contents of motion were not made available, Barron said an appeal was not surprising considering the nature of the case.
“There are a number of grievances the defense had [with the trial] and we are looking through it,” Barron said. “We just received the motion today. It’s fairly common in a significant case – like a felony or a sexual assault – for a motion for retrial to be filed.”
Barron said she believes the court will address the motion for retrial prior to sentencing. Both, however, are scheduled for Feb. 28.
While Frimpong was afforded his right to a sentencing in court yesterday, he declined, opting to wait for the rescheduled hearing in February.
Frimpong, a native of Ghana and former UCSB student, was convicted of raping a fellow student on Dec. 17, 2007. He was also accused of the sexual battery of another UCSB student but was found innocent of the charge by the jury.