With the defense for Ryan Richard Berry and the Teton County Prosecutor’s Office unable to reach a plea agreement, the felony rape case will move to a jury trial set for February 2020.
Berry, 39, was arrested in February 2018 and pled not guilty to charges of felony rape and drugging the victim at his home in Tetonia, false imprisonment and two misdemeanor charges that include battery and giving alcohol to a minor. The state and the defense agreed to a plea deal after an Aug. 29 court mediation.
Sept. 17 before District Court Judge Steven Boyce, Berry’s defense offered an “Alford” plea in light of the PA’s deal to drop the original charges including felony rape and re-file the charges as felony battery with intent to commit a serious crime.
An Alford plea would afford that Berry would not have to admit that he done anything wrong and would only be willing to admit that the state had enough evidence to convict him of a crime. In court in September, Deputy Prosecutor Rich Friess let Judge Boyce know that the state also intended to ask for a psychosexual evaluation prior to sentencing.
But the state and the defense couldn’t agree and after a two week deadline set by the judge to work the plea agreement out, the parties are scheduled for a jury trial.
The original charges against Berry that were amended for the plea agreement, will be put back into place.
Felony rape is punishable up to life in prison. The victim has a protection order against Berry. Berry waived his right to a speedy trial and the case has been moved three times since last week due to attorney scheduling conflicts. Berry is currently out on bond and on probation for a DUI.