The Essex Jct. man accused of raping a student at the University of Vermont last month has been denied bail.
Tyson Cyphers, 37, has been held at the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans since his arrest Feb. 23. He pleaded not guilty to charges of repeated aggravated sexual assault, stalking and grand larceny last month and faces a possible life sentence, if convicted.
Chittenden County prosecutors filed paperwork requesting a judge deny Cyphers bail at the time of his arraignment, arguing no set of conditions could reasonably prevent him from committing further violent acts.
“This was a premeditated attack,” wrote deputy state’s attorney Dana DiSano in her motion, adding the “evidence of guilt is great.”
The alleged victim told detectives with the Chittenden Unit for Special Investigations that Cyphers, whom she knew, somehow accessed her dormitory and threatened to “cut his wrists” if she didn’t let him inside. He then said he was on a mission to “make her hate him” and assaulted her multiple times, court records show, stopping only when her roommate arrived.
The judge ordered Cyphers be held pending a bail hearing Wednesday afternoon, which he cancelled yesterday morning after Cyphers’ defense attorney agreed to the request, court filings show. He will now be held in state custody for the entirety of his court proceedings.
In her motion to deny bail, DiSano relied on both Cyphers’ lengthy criminal past and his own statements to show he poses a continued risk to the victim.
DiSano said Cyphers’ rap sheet shows convictions on 14 misdemeanors, four felonies, four failures to appear and 11 violations of probation. Two of those convictions were on weapons charges, DiSano said, while two others were for lewd and lascivious conduct, which landed Cyphers on the Vermont Sex Offender Registry.
Though he was listed as non-compliant with registry rules at the time of the alleged attack, Cyphers was described as “not high risk,” a Department of Corrections determination suggesting he didn’t pose a high risk of re-offending.
Arguing the contrary, DiSano highlighted an admission he made to emergency personnel at the time of his arrest: a comment to the effect of, “Whatever you do, you won’t be able to stop this. This will happen again,” a police affidavit says.
The alleged attack occurred the same day that Essex police had issued a “be on the lookout” alert for Cyphers after his father reported he had made comments of suicidal thoughts, court records show. After the incident, Cyphers texted his mother and admitted to the crime. He then again made suicidal comments and said he was not going to go back to jail.
Police found him lying on his bed with a flask in one hand and a pill bottle in the other. At the South Burlington police station later that day, police said Cyphers exhibited “concerning behavior,” banging his head against the cement walls of his holding cell.
A status conference has been set for later this month.