Former Fresno State wrestler arrested for felony charges including rape

Courtesy of Fresno State Athletics

Update: Feb. 1 at 1:51 p.m.

Isaiah Tito Perez appeared in front of a judge on Wednesday, Jan. 27. He pleaded not guilty to two felony counts and one misdemeanor. His bail was set at $150,500, and he bonded out sometime during Wednesday. Perez is scheduled to appear back in court on March 17.

Original story

Former Fresno State wrestler Isaiah Tito Perez was arrested last Friday on a felony charge of rape of a drugged victim.

The Fresno Police Department said Perez had sexually assaulted a 15-year old girl who was inebriated.

Perez, 21, was arrested at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 22. 

Bail is set at $220,000. Police said Perez remains in custody.

Police said Perez is also facing felony charges of kidnapping to commit rape, rape of an unconscious victim and two misdemeanors — battery on a person and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

Perez was dismissed from the Fresno State wrestling program on Jan. 22, according to a Fresno State Athletics spokesperson.  

On Monday, Athletics Director Terry Tumey said, “We are aware of the serious allegations involving one of our student-athletes. Fresno State takes matters such as this seriously and will not tolerate acts that are in direct contradiction of our university values that are based on respect for the integrity of every individual.

“Student-athletes are required to comply with a code of conduct and a standard of excellence. As such, the student-athlete was dismissed from our athletic program. We will continue to evaluate this situation as the legal process moves forward.”

In November, Perez was at a gathering at an apartment that was located near Fresno State.  A large group of people were invited — which included the 15-year-old – to the party at an off-campus apartment where there was recreational alcohol and marijuana use, police said.

The 15-year-old female was seen with Perez throughout the evening, and she became inebriated and was unable to take care of herself by the end of the night, police said. Several witnesses saw Perez and the victim leave the apartment at the same time, police said.

The Fresno State Athletics spokesperson said the athletics department wasn’t aware of the incident before the arrest on Friday. 

Former Fresno State wrestler Isaiah Tito Perez was arrested on Friday, Jan. 22. (Courtesy of Fresno Police Department)

There were two wrestlers named Isaiah Perez listed on the Fresno State wrestling roster. Isaiah Tito Perez is no longer included in the 2020-21 wrestling roster on the athletics department website.

In high school, Perez was a 2018 California State medalist and championship runner-up at 220 pounds for Pitman High School in Turlock, California. Perez is from Turlock, California. 

Perez was a member of the wrestling team for two years. He redshirted last season and had compiled a 21-17 record while at Fresno State.

The Fresno State wrestling program is in its final season after being cut in October alongside women’s lacrosse and men’s tennis due to financial challenges during COVID-19.

Related resources for survivors:

Confidential survivor’s advocate (559.278.6796) in the Student Health and Counseling Center. The survivor’s advocate can assist and support affected students and also talk through options, including the campus Title IX process. As stated on our Confidential Advocacy Services website for our students, you are NOT alone. You are NEVER to blame. There is help available.

University’s Title IX office (559.278.5357). 

Affected students also have the option of reporting the situation to Fresno State police at 559.278.8400 and/or local police.

Written by Jesús Cano and Jannah Geraldo

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