UMass Amherst student arraigned on rape charges

Ryder Chilcoff scheduled to return to court March 1

BELCHERTOWN, Mass. (WWLP) – A UMass Amherst student was arraigned in Eastern Hampshire District Court Tuesday on three counts of rape in connection with an alleged incident on campus.

According to Northwestern District Attorney’s Office spokesperson Mary Carey, 21-year-old Ryder Chilcoff, of Villa Park, California, has been ordered held on $7,500 cash bail. Conditions of Chilcoff’s release include that he have no contact with the alleged victim, follow all UMass rules, surrender his passport, and sign a waiver of rendition.

The incident allegedly happened at a UMass residence hall on December 9, 2017. UMass Amherst Deputy Director of Media Relations Mary Dettloff confirmed with 22News that Chilcoff is a student at UMass Amherst.

Dettloff said the university is taking immediate and appropriate steps in the “student conduct process” to address the matter. She described that process in a statement sent to 22News:


In general, once a survivor of a sexual assault is ready to come forward and report the incident, the Dean of Students Office responds by prioritizing the emotional and physical safety of the survivor. The survivor is given access to confidential resources and information on reporting options. In cases involving sexual assault, as well as other matters, the university imposes immediate, interim restrictions upon a student pending disciplinary proceedings when there is reason to believe the student is an imminent threat to others. This can include, for example, a prohibition on contact, restrictions on visiting university housing or being prohibited from participating in any university events or activities on or off campus. An investigation into the incident is initiated and at the conclusion of the conduct process a respondent found responsible faces a range of sanctions including suspension or expulsion.

The student is scheduled to return to court on March 1. UMass Amherst is unable to release additional information about the case due to federal privacy laws.