A former K-State student was sentenced to almost 13 years in prison in Riley County District Court Thursday morning for raping another K-State student in a case that has garnered national attention because of its role in a federal Title IX case against Kansas State University.
Jared R. Gihring was convicted in the April 26, 2014, rape of Sara Weckhorst.
He faces 12 years and 11 months in prison effective immediately, with the possibility of 15 percent off for good behavior and post-release monitoring for a lifetime. He begins with a one-day credit for the time he already spent in jail.
At the end of sentencing his attorney, Brenda Jordan, said they look to file an appeal.
In the hearing, Gihring said he appreciates the support of those around him and called the whole situation “heartbreaking.”
“I understand my decision has caused fear, pain, sorrow and tears from Sara’s family and friends and from my own,” he said. “If I could go back in time and change what I did, I would.”
Weckhorst said in the hearing that the years since, she has spent much of her time dealing with the university’s lack of response, struggling through school and fear of seeing Gihring.
“The 1,209 days since Jared raped me will have a lifelong effect,” she said. “I know Jared does not define me and I am not his victim.”
Weckhorst and Crystal Stroup, another former K-State student, both claimed that Gihring raped them. Stroup said he raped her in her University Crossing apartment in October 2015, the building he also lived in. He was found not guilty of raping Stroup.
The women and Tessa Farmer have filed a Title IX lawsuit against K-State for improperly handling their cases of sexual assault. K-State officials maintain that the university is not required to investigate off-campus incidents of sexual assault. Gihring was a member of Sigma Nu fraternity before he was expelled. Weckhorst said she was raped at the fraternity house. Gihring was arrested in July 2016 and posted $25,000 bond in August 2016. On Jan. 3, he pleaded not guilty to both counts of rape and one count of sodomy.