Truckee man enters plea in rape case, deal calls for 6 years in prison |

Truckee man enters plea in rape case, deal calls for 6 years in prison

James Russell Ferrigno

A Truckee man accused of drugging a woman and raping her has pleaded no contest to one of his charges and is scheduled for a May 8 sentencing, a Nevada County prosecutor said.

James Russell Ferrigno, 32, pleaded on March 13 to rape by use of a drug or intoxicating substance. His plea deal calls for a six-year sentence in state prison. He also must register as a sex offender for life, Deputy District Attorney Jesse Wilson said.

The plea deal is contingent on Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti’s acceptance. Prosecutors would then drop additional charges against Ferrigno, Wilson said.

“I feel good about the resolution and I think it’s a just resolution under all the circumstances,” he added.

Defense attorney John Ward, who represents Ferrigno, called the case’s resolution fair.

“I think based on the nature of the case this a very fair resolution, assuming that Judge Tamietti goes along with the plea and sentence bargain,” Ward said.

Truckee police said they arrested Ferrigno in October after the victim approached authorities. Ferrigno remained in jail Wednesday afternoon under $250,000 in bond, reports state.

According to Truckee police, the victim rented space in the same home as Ferrigno. The victim, who had no romantic relationship with Ferrigno, suspected he was spiking her drinks.

The victim awoke groggy three to four times over two months and couldn’t remember the previous nights. She then hid a camera in the kitchen. After checking her camera, she went to police, authorities have said.

Officers started watching Ferrigno’s home. At some point the victim got a text from Ferrigno stating he planned to leave for the East Coast and that she’d never see him again. Police then saw Ferrigno leave and they arrested him, reports state.

Police have said they found unknown pills and a squeeze bottle when searching the home.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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