Ithaca, N.Y. — Former Cornell University student Peter Mesko was sentenced to five years in prison at the Tompkins County Court on Friday after he was convicted on charges of first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree burglary.
Mesko will also serve three years post release supervision and a 13-year order of protection was granted.
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The incident he was sentenced for occurred in March of 2013. According to law enforcement, he entered the room of another Cornell student and raped her while she slept.
Mesko was found guilty for first-degree sexual abuse and second-degree burglary on Jan. 29.
Mesko was also charged with rape, but the jury was deadlocked and unable to reach a verdict on this charge. There’s been no word from the district attorney’s office if prosecutors will seek to retry Mesko on the rape charge.
He will be registered as a sex offender. The Ithaca Police Department and the Cornell Police conducted the investigation.
Over the course of the jury trial, experts testified that the victim’s rape kit and clothing samples did not reveal enough DNA to link the crime to Mesko. Still, forensic scientist Cherie Ann Burnham said the lack of DNA does not mean two people didn’t come into contact — a variety of factors, such as taking a shower, can eliminate evidence.
Nurse Joyce Bleiweiss said while there was no sign of bruising, redness or bleeding on the victim, her findings were consistent with someone who had been sexually assaulted, and that it’s common to not have injuries.
Judge Joe Cassidy issued Mesko’s sentencing.
This news is breaking; Check back for an updated story later in the day.
See The Ithaca Voice’s previous reporting on Mesko’s case: