LOGAN — A preliminary hearing has been set for a 22-year-old Utah State football player charged with allegedly entering several on-campus dorm rooms and raping a female student. Ismael “Izzy” Kalani Vaifo’ou was granted release while the case against him proceeds through the court system.
Vaifo’ou in 1st District Court Monday afternoon. He was previously charged with rape, a first-degree felony; three counts of forcible sex abuse and one count of burglary, all second-degree felonies; and three misdemeanors.
Defense attorney Cara Tangaro requested the preliminary hearing, where a judge will determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence to bind Vaifo’ou over for trial. It was scheduled for Aug. 31.
According to an arrest report, USU police officers were called to the Living Learning Center dorms on report that Vaifo’ou had entered several rooms on several different floors, early on the morning of April 18. He is a resident in the dormitory and was reportedly intoxicated.
One woman told officers she was woken up by the sounds of doors opening and closing. Vaifo’ou then allegedly entered her room and started walking toward her bed, before she told him to leave.
The report stated a second woman also claimed she woke up and found Vaifo’ou “laying in her bed next to her in only his underwear.” He reportedly was raping her until she pushed him and told him to get out.
Other residents told police they witnessed Vaifo’ou entering two other rooms temporarily. They also claimed they could detect an odor of alcohol coming from the suspect.
Police questioned Vaifo’ou and advised him of his rights. He admitted to entering the women’s apartment, stating he had taken off his clothes and got into bed with one of the alleged victims. He also confessed to touching the woman inappropriately over her clothing.
Vaifo’ou, who has been released from the football team, didn’t speak during Monday’s hearing. He is currently out of jail on pretrial supervision and could face up to life in prison if convicted.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.