UC Riverside student admits sexually assaulting 4 students near SDSU
SAN DIEGO — A young man who groped and sexually assaulted four female students in two separate instances as they walked to their off-campus housing near San Diego State University pleaded guilty today to four charges, including felony and misdemeanor counts of false imprisonment and sexual battery.
As a result of the plea bargain, 20-year-old Minda Shewangizaw faces probation and time in local custody when he is sentenced June 12.
Deputy District Attorney Judy Taschner said her office will be in touch with prosecutors in Riverside — where Shewangizaw is charged with trying to rape an acquaintance at UC Riverside — to see if the cases can be resolved together.
All four victims in the SDSU case — who ranged in age from 17 to 19 — testified during a preliminary hearing in January.
T.H. testified that she and her roommate, T.L., were near Montezuma Road and 55th Street, walking back to their apartment just after midnight last Aug. 29, when the defendant came up from behind and forcefully “grabbed my butt.”
T.L. testified that she noticed someone walking behind them before he began chasing them.
“I said, You need to leave,” T.L. testified. “He grabbed my hand and pulled me toward him. He pulled my shirt down and grabbed my breast.”
She said she kicked the defendant and was able to break free. She and her roommate notified a security guard, who called campus police.
The witness said Shewangizaw was wearing an “extremely distinctive” blue Hawaiian shirt and she and her roommate were able to identify him a short time later, after his arrest following another alleged attack.
Jane Doe 2 testified that she and Jane Doe 1 were on a pedestrian bridge near the Aztec Student Union, headed back to their dorm about 1 a.m., when she heard footsteps and was smacked on her “behind” by the defendant.
“I was livid. I said, What are you doing? Don’t do that! He laughed it off.”
The witness said she kept walking and tried to ignore the defendant, but he followed and made a remark about her breasts before pulling her shirt down and putting his hands on her chest.
Jane Doe 2 said Shewangizaw went to Jane Doe 1 and said, “How about you? What do you have?”
Jane Doe 1 testified that Shewangizaw asked them if they were freshman and told them he was a junior at SDSU.
The witness said she froze when the defendant grabbed her friend’s breasts. “I got really freaked out.”
She said Shewangizaw grabbed her breast and buttocks and trapped her against a rail before laughing and walking away.