Warning: this article contains graphic content.
After nearly three years of legal proceedings, iV Menus owner Patrick Galoustian was sentenced to 18 years in state prison at his Nov. 5 hearing and will have to register as a sex offender for life.
Galoustian, 48, was initially arrested on Dec. 18, 2017 on three felony charges of rape after he sexually assaulted a woman, known as Jane Doe 1 in court documents, at his residence at 910 Embarcadero del Norte in Isla Vista. During the discovery process, prosecutors became aware of a second victim, Jane Doe 2, and filed charges on their behalf as well.
Two years to the day of his initial arrest, Galoustian accepted a plea deal in December 2019, pleading 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.
Jennifer Karapetian, senior deputy district attorney in the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office, previously told the Nexus in an email that she selected the eight felony charges — out of 33 in total — for the plea deal because they each reflected “his criminal conduct in different ways” and “a separate crime he committed on each victim.”
After accepting the plea deal, however, it took over nine months and nine separate hearings for Galoustian to receive his sentence; Santa Barbara County Superior Court Judge James Herman, who has presided over the case for more than two years, commented frequently on its delays.
Galoustian switched attorneys multiple times during his case and made a last-minute request at his hearing yesterday to appear for his sentencing in person, delaying it for the eighth time. He was officially sentenced today at his in-person hearing.
Galoustian’s lawyer, Leonard B. Levine, also filed a motion in October 2019 requesting the UC Santa Barbara UC Police Department (UCPD) to release internal records that he claimed violated Galoustian’s due process in his arrest and investigation. Specifically, after the Nexus reported that the UCPD was facing a series of lawsuits.
Levine argued that UCPD Officer Ryan Hashimoto allegedly tampered with and circulated an alleged video of a sexual assault that was evidence in Galoustian’s case. Herman ultimately declined Levine’s motion.
Before being sentenced on Thursday, Galoustian made a statement to the court saying that he was innocent. In response, Karapetian said, “We are not here to litigate the facts,” adding that the victims of the case agreed with the prosecution, “want this to be done” and were willing to testify against him if his case had gone to trial.
“The sentencing has been continued so many times, so [the victims] are looking forward to closure and not having to remember this event every time they see about it in the media,” Karapetian said.
Before sentencing Galoustian to 18 years in state prison, Herman described Galoustian’s case as “reprehensible and abhorrent,” stating it was among “one of the most horrendous cases this court has ever encountered.”