A former barman charged with raping a tourist in March at the Napa hotel where he worked may spend more than four years in state prison after reaching a plea agreement with prosecutors.
Henry Tito Palacios, 35, of Napa, on Wednesday agreed to plead no contest to rape and burglary for the March incident at the River Terrace Inn on Soscol Avenue. A no contest plea has the effect of a guilty plea at sentencing.
A sentencing hearing is scheduled for Jan. 8. Under the plea, Palacios will spend four years and four months in state prison and will have to register as a sex offender, according to court documents.
Palacios filed his plea a few days before he was to stand trial for five felonies, including burglary, rape with drugs, rape of an unconscious victim, a sexual act and sexual penetration. Under the plea, three of the five felonies were dismissed by the Napa County district attorney’s office.
Palacios was a barman at the River Terrace Inn in March when, authorities said, he entered a guest room and raped a woman from Texas who was visiting Napa with three friends. According to court testimony and court records, Palacios raped the woman while she slept.
The woman, who is from Grapevine, Texas, testified at a preliminary hearing this summer that she fell ill at dinner after a day of wine tasting. Police said in court filings the woman had a “high level of intoxication.”
She woke up to find Palacios on top of her, forcing her to have sex against her will, according to a court filing and court testimony.
Palacios remains in custody at the Napa County jail.