UC Riverside student accused of groping women at SDSU faces 7 years

Minda Shewangizaw faces seven charges, including false imprisonment and sexual battery.

SAN DIEGO — An April 10 trial date was set Tuesday for a 19-year-old man accused of groping and sexually assaulting four female students as they walked to their off-campus housing near San Diego State University last summer.

Minda Shewangizaw faces seven years in state prison if convicted of charges including false imprisonment and sexual battery. He pleaded not guilty at his arraignment in Superior Court.

All four of the defendant’s alleged victims — who ranged in age from 17 to 19 — testified during a preliminary hearing last month.

Deputy District Attorney Judy Taschner alleges that Shewangizaw attacked two victims just after midnight on Aug. 29. and two others a short time later.

One of them testified that Shewangizaw came up from behind and grabbed her buttocks. The three others alleged the defendant pulled down their shirts and grabbed their breasts before running off.

After Shewangizaw was arrested, he bailed out of jail but was re- arrested in connection with the May 17 attempted rape of an acquaintance at UC Riverside, where he was a student, Taschner said.