Truckee police: Man allegedly drugged victim, raped her (update) |

Truckee police: Man allegedly drugged victim, raped her (update)

James Russell Ferrigno

A Truckee man accused of spiking a woman’s drink and then raping her was arrested after the victim hid a camera in the kitchen, capturing video of him putting something in her glass, police said.

James Russell Ferrigno, 31, faces charges of rape of a drugged victim, rape of an unconscious victim, oral copulation of an unconscious victim, sodomy of a drugged victim and willfully poisoning food. Arrested Thursday night, Oct. 19, Ferrigno remained behind bars on Tuesday, Oct. 24. He is being held on $1.25 million bail at Truckee Jail, Nevada County records showed.

Truckee police learned about the accusations after the victim — who rented space in the same home as Ferrigno and had no romantic relationship with him — approached authorities on Thursday, Sgt. Danny Renfrow said.

“She suspected that Ferrigno was putting an unknown substance in her drinks at night,” he added.

The victim first suspected Ferrigno of spiking her drink in mid-August, about two to three weeks after first meeting him, Renfrow said.

Over the next two months the woman awoke groggy around three to four times, not remembering the previous nights. She then hid a camera in the kitchen, the sergeant said.

Waking Thursday morning at the house, the victim checked the camera. She then went to police, Renfrow said.

Officers began surveillance of the home. At some point the victim received a text message from Ferrigno stating he was leaving for the East Coast and that she wouldn’t see him again. Officers saw Ferrigno leave the home and they arrested him about a quarter mile away, Renfrow said.

A search of his home revealed unknown pills and a squeeze bottle used to spike the victim’s drink, he added.

Support Local Journalism

Your support means a better informed community.