NEWPORT BEACH — An ex-boyfriend of Elizabeth Lyn Vargas pleaded guilty Tuesday to attacking the former “The Real Housewives of Orange County” cast member and was immediately sentenced to six years in prison.
Ryan Matthew Geraghty, 34, was arrested in February 2022 following a roughly two-hour standoff with Newport Beach police at Vargas’ home in the 100 block of Medina Way. Police and prosecutors have not formally identified the victim, but Vargas’ manager confirmed it was the former cast member of the Bravo series.
Prosecutors contended Geraghty, of Los Angeles, began blackmailing Vargas on Christmas Eve, forcing her to pay tens of thousands of dollars to prevent him from releasing nude photos of her. According to the prosecutors, he also allegedly forced her to buy him a BMW.
Prosecutors said Geraghty went to Vargas’ home, threatening her with a gun because she refused to pay him any more money. While there, he fired a shot into the ceiling during an argument, as Vargas hid in a closet, prosecutors said.
Vargas accused her of stealing his car, because she stopped payments on the BMW, prosecutors said.
Police went to Vargas’ home to perform a welfare check, and they determined a suspect was holed up inside, prompting a standoff. After about two hours, officers made their way inside the home and police said they found an armed suspect “actively threatening the life of the victim.”
Geraghty was taken into custody. Police said that after speaking with Vargas, officers evacuated some surrounding residences while they secured the house.
After conducting a search of the residence, the evacuations were lifted and no other suspects were found, police said.
Geraghty pleaded guilty to criminal threats, grossly negligent discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a felon, sale or transport of a controlled substance and assault with a semiautomatic firearm, all felonies. He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of possession of a controlled substance and admitted sentencing enhancements for the personal use of a firearm.
Ryan Matthew Geraghty (Courtesy Orange County District Attorney’s Office)
Geraghty accepted a plea deal from Orange County Superior Court Judge Derek Johnson, who gave him credit for 920 days in custody.
According to the criminal complaint, Geraghty has two prior convictions for burglary in Los Angeles County in June 2008 and November 2016.
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