Man Sentenced in Crash That Killed USC Student

Man Sentenced in Crash That Killed USC Student

A student rides his skateboard past an entrance to the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles on April 11, 2012. (Frederic J. Brown/AFP via Getty Images)

City News Service

City News Service

12/14/2023

Updated: 12/14/2023

LOS ANGELES—A man who pleaded no contest to vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence for a crash that left a University of Southern California (USC) student dead was sentenced Dec. 13 to four years behind bars.
Ricardo Aguilar, now 26, had been in custody since his arrest about an hour after the Dec. 11, 2021, crash that killed Arian Rahbar, but was released shortly after his sentencing, according to jail records.
“I want to say I’m very sorry for what happened that day,” Mr. Aguilar said moments before being sentenced, adding that it was not his intention to hurt anyone.
Mr. Aguilar received credit for 733 days in county jail, along with another 732 days of credit for good time and work time, with his attorney noting that it ended up being time her client had already served.
Rahbar was struck by a Dodge Challenger Hellcat driven by Mr. Aguilar while the victim was crossing Jefferson Boulevard at Harvard Boulevard near his home, authorities said.
Los Angeles Police Department Detective Ryan Moreno told the Los Angeles Times shortly after the crash that Mr. Aguilar had allegedly been racing a driver in an Infiniti G37.
It appeared that Mr. Aguilar and co-defendant Carlos Andres Valdes Moscoso, were racing, but the former’s collision with the victim occurred almost immediately after they sped off, according to the District Attorney’s Office.
Rahbar was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.
“Arian was not just our only child. He was a remarkable young man with a bright future ahead,” the victim’s father, Sam Rahbar, told Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Kerry L. White at Mr. Aguilar’s sentencing. “At the tender age of 22, he excelled in his studies at USC, always ranking at the top of his class in computer science.”
The victim’s father noted that his son’s passion for learning and dedication to his work led to internship opportunities with Facebook and Amazon, and said that his son had dreams of becoming a doctor focused on research.
The victim’s father added that his son’s life was tragically “cut short in a car accident caused by selfish individuals who, for the sake of a moment of racing enjoyment, brought immeasurable grief to our family and altered our lives forever.”
“The past two years have been a continuous, agonizing pain for my wife and me,” the victim’s father told the judge. “This action didn’t destroy just one life but three. Without Arian, life as we knew it has ceased to exist. They say the greatest pain is losing a child, and now we experience it every day.”
Mr. Aguilar and Mr. Moscoso, now 23, were arrested by Los Angeles police about an hour later after the crash.
They were both initially charged with murder, but the murder charge against Mr. Aguilar was dismissed as a result of the plea he had entered in October.
Mr. Moscoso pleaded no contest in October to a felony count of vehicular manslaughter with gross negligence that could be reduced to a misdemeanor in October 2024 if he completes a series of conditions, including community labor, driving classes, and restitution, according to the District Attorney’s Office, which noted that neither of the men had any prior criminal history.
He was released from jail on bond in April 2022, jail records show.
Joyce Kuo contributed to this report. 
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