UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. (WTAJ)– A Penn State University professor is facing charges after he was stalking a woman on campus, according to the charges filed by university police.
In 15 different instances, Brandon Schwartz, 36, of Lemont, followed a woman, and would go quickly up the stairs behind them, with his cell phone out, police wrote in the criminal complaint.
On Aug. 3, a campus employee reported to police that Schwartz had just tried to take a picture up her skirt within a stairwell. The woman said that she felt something hit the back of her foot and when she turned around, Schwartz was close behind her with his phone out below his waist, according to the criminal complaint.
When police watched video footage, they saw Schwartz awkwardly climbing the stairs, and then leaning closer to the woman. As Schwartz was then leaving the stairwell, footage showed him trying to hide his phone.
After looking over surveillance footage and through university databases, police learned that Schwartz was a research professor.
The woman told police that the first time she noticed Schwartz was in June and would often spot him lingering in the stairway after that. She also said how she was starting to be concerned that Schwartz was trying to see up her dresses and would become cautious of him, the complaint reads.
After reviewing the video again, police discovered that on six different days, Schwartz entered the building with the intent to follow female students/the staff member.
Police saw a pattern from Schwartz, in which he would leave his office at 2 p.m. and head to the building the woman was in for about 30 minutes. He would leave the building multiple times and walk the hallways and stairs before he would wait in the lobby for the woman to leave her class.
According to the complaint, Schwartz has done this on multiple different days ranging from July 8 to Aug. 9.
On Aug. 9, police said that they conducted surveillance and were able to watch Schwartz’s pattern and see him maneuver throughout the building. When he was sitting on a bench close to the woman’s classroom an officer took him into an empty classroom for an interview and he denied following her, the complaint reads.
During the investigation, they were able to find internet searches of “what is a peeping tom?”, “living with a peeping tom,” “common examples of voyeurism,” and also “what is Voyeurism?”, according to the complaint.
Police also found sexual messages that Schwartz has sent to a department member and also canceled calendar entries from the dates he entered the building that had an alarm set for 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
When searching through Schwartz’s phone, police found that he tried to find out the woman’s name through internet searches. They also weren’t able to find any pictures of the woman, but noticed a missing picture in his phone’s sequence that corresponded with one of the days he was in the stairwell, police said.
The woman was also shown an eight-photo lineup and was able to pick Schwartz out, police noted.
Schwartz faces numerous charges of stalking and an invasion of privacy.
A preliminary hearing for Schwartz is scheduled for Oct. 19.