Patrick Galoustian, who for nearly 10 years ran the iV Menus mobile food delivery service in Isla Vista, pled guilty to eight counts of sexual assault involving two individuals in 2017 and is looking at 18 years behind bars. Galoustian, who had run a martial arts studio as well, is accused of doping two women and having sex with them when they lacked the capacity to give consent.
Initially, prosecuting attorney Jennifer Karapetian had filed 33 counts against Galoustian and more recently had bumped that to 35. Karapetian explained via email that the deal was struck only after consulting with the two victims. “The victims wanted to put this extremely traumatic experience behind them and move forward with their lives,” she wrote. “The stress and anxiety of having to testify against their assailant was something they were not looking forward to.”
Karapetian noted that Galoustian had pled guilty to two of the new charges relating to making criminal threats against the victims. These qualify as serious felony charges for purposes of the state’s three-strikes sentencing law; if Galoustian is convicted of another serious charge after his release, he could be sent back to prison for 25 years to life.
Among the evidence against Galoustian were videotapes he took of himself having sex with the victims. Initially, Galoustian had maintained the encounters were consensual. More recently, his attorney, Leonard Levine of Los Angeles, had sought to argue the videotapes may have been tampered with. He cited evidence that surfaced in a broader whistleblower lawsuit against the UCSB Police Department that indicated UCSB Police Department investigator Ryan Hashimoto had circulated at least one of the Galoustian videotapes to others in the department accompanied by comic commentary.
Levine sought to delay the trial — scheduled for this coming January — until the results of an internal affairs investigation could be completed. According to other media accounts, that investigation could take as many as six months. Judge James Herman declined Levine’s motion.
In the meantime, Galoustian has been held in Santa Barbara County Jail on $1 million bail.