Lifestyle

Man sentenced for groping and attacking SDSU college student

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Zura Residence Hall (from "San Diego Shooter" via Flickr)

Zura Residence Hall (from "San Diego Shooter" via Flickr)

A man who attacked a San Diego State student in her dormitory building last January was sentenced to two years in state prison on Tuesday, but then released.

Wayne Swingler, 35, was convicted in August of felony assault with intent to commit a sexual offense.  However, since he has already served 900 days in jail, Swingler, who has no prior criminal record, was immediately released and put on parole for four years.  He will also have to register as a sex offender for life, and wear a GPS tracking unit to ensure he is not near the SDSU campus.

Swingler attacked the victim in a stairwell at the Zura Residence Hall around 7:00 AM on January 25, 2008, as she returned to her dorm.  According to testimony, Swingler asked the freshman if he could touch her.  When the girl refused, he fondled her anyway.  As the student proceeded up the stairwell, he touched her again, then punched her in the stomach and tried to pull her pants down, before running away.

With so many violent acts taking place on college campuses nationwide every year, the Entertainer urges all student to take caution on their campuses. For some safety tips,

Here are some safety tips that you might find helpful:

1. Remain aware of your surroundings – Never walk around (especially at night) with your Ipod on. Whenever possible you should also avoid talking on your cell phone because it hinders awareness of your surroundings.

2. Carry pepper spray – you can find small key-chain sized pepper spray canisters almost anywhere. Remember to keep the pepper spray in easy reach, not just strone about in your handbag or backpack.

3. Walk with a buddy – many campuses have escort programs where you can call a number and have a student safety officer escort you to your destination. As a student, part of the fees you pay go to these services. Use them. Phone numbers to request an escort at some of our local schools are:

SDSU: 619-594-6659
UCSD: 858-534-walk
CSU San Marcos: 760-750-4567
USD: (619) 260-7777

4. Loacate emergency calling stations. Many college campuses have implemented calling towers for emergencies. Many are very easy to use and offer near immediate assistance. On the UCSD campus, you lift up the handset, press a button and in 2-3 seconds, you are connected with a police dispatcher. Be aware of where these stations are around you or request a map of their locations. Some colleges pride themselves in having a calling tower visible from every location on campus. You should never be too far from a phone to call for help.

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