Warning: This article contains graphic content.
Two years to the day after his initial arrest on four felony charges including rape, iVMenus owner Patrick Galoustian pled guilty this morning to eight felony charges, according to Jennifer Karapetian, senior deputy district attorney in the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office.
He pled guilty to three counts of oral copulation of an unconscious person; one count each of sexual penetration by a foreign object, sodomy of an intoxicated person and oral copulation with a person prevented from resisting due to intoxication; and two counts of criminal threats.
Galoustian, 47, will originally expected to be sentenced on Jan. 29, 2020, but that date was pushed to March 18 after his lawyer had a scheduling conflict in another county.
On March 16, in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus, Presiding Judge Michael J. Carrozzo signed an administrative order to continue most cases in the Santa Barbara Superior Court to after April 3, 2020, delaying Galoustian’s sentencing again.
This story will be updated once another date has been set for the sentencing.
Karapetian said it is expected that he will be sentenced to 18 years in state prison and will have to register as a sex offender for life.
“Mr. Galoustian has taken full responsibility for his conduct,” Leonard B. Levine, Galoustian’s lawyer, said on Wednesday afternoon. He added that Galoustian would accept the court’s sentence “pursuant to the plea agreement.”
The district attorney’s office had initially charged him with 33 felony counts, which were filed on behalf of two victims, the Nexus previously reported. He had initially pled not guilty to all the charges.
Karapetian said that she selected the eight charges for the plea agreement based on the evidence behind each charge.
“[The eight charges] reflected his criminal conduct in different ways. Each count he plead guilty to reflected a separate crime he committed on each victim,” Karapetian said in an email.
She also said in an email that the last two counts of criminal threats are “serious felony strike convictions,” meaning that if he commits any “qualifying” felony offenses after his release from prison, “he will be looking at a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years to life in prison.”
A UC Santa Barbara class of 2005 alumnus, Galoustian was well-known in the community as a long-time Isla Vista resident and as the owner of iVMenus, a food delivery service. He had operated the business from 2008 up until his arrest; it has since shut down, and the location where it used to operate, 910 Embarcadero Del Norte, has not been occupied since.
He was initially arrested on Dec. 18, 2017, for charges relating to the rape of one victim; during the discovery process, prosecutors became aware of a second victim and filed charges on their behalf as well.
The long duration of the court case has been criticized by Judge James E. Herman, who has primarily been presiding over the case since June 2018. Galoustian switched attorneys during his court case, which is partially why the case has taken so long to litigate, as Levine noted in March that he needed additional time to go through the evidence.
Before today’s court appearance, Galoustian had been scheduled to go to trial beginning Jan. 8, 2020.
Updated [3/17/20 4:24 p.m.]
Updated [11:35 p.m.]