Penn State Professor Charged with Stalking | State College, PA – Statecollege.com

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A Penn State professor is facing charges for allegedly stalking another faculty member in a University Park building throughout the summer.
Brandon A. Schwartz, a 36-year-old from Lemont and an assistant research professor in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, was accused on Thursday of following the woman in the Willard Building on multiple occasions and using a cell phone to attempt to take photos up her skirt.
The woman told a Penn State police investigator that the alleged stalking had caused her fear and anxiety for which she planned to seek treatment.
“The University is aware of these disturbing criminal charges and is investigating in accordance with Penn State policy and applicable law,” Penn State spokesperson Wyatt DuBois wrote in an email. “The University is committed to maintaining a safe environment for all members of the Penn State Community.”
DuBois declined to comment on Schwartz’s employment status or involvement any disciplinary process.
According to a criminal complaint filed on Thursday, the woman reported to police on Aug. 3 that a man had been lingering around the stairwells in Willard Building and followed her closely up the stairs. She turned and noticed he was holding a cell phone below his waist, police wrote.
She said she first noticed the man in the stairwell at the end of June and continued to see him around the same time of day on a recurring basis.
A review of surveillance video footage led investigators to Schwartz, whose office is in the nearby Hosler Building, according to the complaint. Further review found that on two dates in July and two dates in August, he left his office at 2 p.m., entered the Willard Building, walked the hallway where the woman’s classroom was located and waited in the stairwell. Each time, police wrote, he was seen following close behind the woman with a cell phone in his hand or his hand tucked into the pocket of his shorts.
“On each occasion, Schwartz appeared to have no legitimate business in the Willard Building,” police wrote.
Schwartz denied following any female faculty members and said he went to the Willard Building for exercise purposes, according to the complaint.
The woman identified Schwartz from a photo array as the person who had followed her. She told police she had no prior connection to him.
After obtaining a search warrant for Schwartz’s phone, investigators allegedly found he conducted internet searches to discover the woman’s name, as well as searching for terms related to “peeping tom” and “voyeurism.”
No images of the woman were found on his phone, but a detective noted “disruptions in the sequential number” of photos, including a photograph from around Aug. 3 that was missing, according to the complaint.
Schwartz is charged with four first-degree misdemeanor counts of stalking and two second-degree misdemeanor counts of attempted invasion of privacy.
He was arraigned on Thursday by District Judge Steven Lachman and released on recognizance. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 19.
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