- Lauren Pack Staff Writer
A former Miami University student was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday after pleading guilty to the sexual assault of a woman that involved drugging her and filming it on his phone.
Nicolas Cristescu, 20, who lived in the Pines Lodge residence hall at Heritage Commons, was indicted for rape and sexual battery as well as 11 misdemeanor counts of voyeurism for crimes that occurred between Oct. 11 and Oct. 12.
In December, Cristescu, of Cleveland, pleaded guilty to gross sexual imposition, a third-degree felony. Butler County Common Pleas Judge Michael Oster gave him the maximum sentence. He will also be classified as a Tier I sexual offender.
In a sentencing memorandum, Cristescu’s attorney, Stephen Kilburn, said “Nicolas has demonstrated genuine remorse. He recognizes his actions in this matter were entirely inconsistent with who he truly is. He sincerely and profusely apologizes to the victim.”
The attorney added, “It is clear Nicolas is a good-natured human being who made a horrible mistake. He is genuinely remorseful for his actions. He comes from a good family who supports him and wants to see him succeed.”
Nine letters from friends of Cristescu were written to the judge.
Cristescu was a sophomore studying finance at Miami University before his arrest. He was also a member of Theta Chi and a member of the Real Estate Club, according to his attorney.
But Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Heile told the judge the amount of pornography found in Cristescu’s possession, some including a minor, shows and entirely different person than the man supporters talk about in the letters.
“The amount of pornography and nudity the state located on defendant’s phone was extreme. It was one of the worst that I have seen,” Hiele said. She added two of the letters of support for Cristescu came from people who tried to lie for him and cover up his actions.
The victim stood just a few feet from Cristescu and tearfully read a statement outlining the damage he did her her and her family.
The victim told the judge, “My life will never be the same.” She said after her drugging and raping, Cristescu asked her to lie about the images when they were found on his phone following his arrest for drugs.
Cristescu offered an apology before sentencing, saying he made the worst mistake of his life after a night of drinking and taking drugs.
“I want to better myself through possible treatment. I want to move on from this and come out a better man,” Cristescu said.
Oster said that as part of the plea agreement he viewed the images and the video, and it was clear to him he was watching a person being raped. He said the victim did not move or react.
“One thing that is very clear, on that night this defendant did not care about his fellow human beings,” Oster said. “(The defendant) zoomed in, moved the person as he chose … and focused the camera.”
The judge said “this perpetrator knew exactly what they were doing.”
Cristescu, who had been free on $75,000 bond, was taken away from the courtroom in handcuffs to serve his prison sentence.