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Penn State Student Pleads Guilty to Breaking into Dorms, Fondling Sleeping Women

by on March 04, 2015 10:05 AM

A Penn State student has pleaded guilty to breaking into female students' dorm rooms and fondling some of the victims while they slept.

Zhongyuan Shao, 19, was charged with felony burglary and trespassing, as well as multiple counts of indecent assault. Shao -- an engineering student from China -- was originally scheduled for a two-day jury trial before entering his plea, according to a news release from the Centre County District Attorney's office.

The charges stem from a series of incidents in September and October 2014 in which Shao broke into numerous dorm rooms in two different resident halls on campus. Early in the morning of October 11, one woman reportedly woke to find Shao fondling her and saying "we are going to do this." Shao fled after the victim began to protest and scream.

Early the next morning, a different victim reportedly awoke to find Shao rubbing her beneath her sheets before he fled the room. The news release states another victim - who happened to be a minor visiting her sister in the dorms - also told police that she awoke to Shao fondling her. Yet another victim told police that Shao had entered her dorm while she slept once in September, and then again in October.

There was a total of ten victims, three of whom Shoa reportedly touched inappropriately as they slept.

Shao will be evaluated by the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board to determine if he will be deemed a "sexually violent predator." Regardless of the board's decision, Shao will be required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act (previously known as Megan's Law) for the next 25 years of his life.

He has not yet been scheduled for sentencing.

“Everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home, and for students, their homes away from home, without the fear of being violated by a stranger as they sleep in the night," District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller says in the news release.

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