Crime, Fire + Courts

UCD law student arrested on suspicion of sexual battery

By May 25, 2011

A UC Davis law student was arrested Tuesday night after allegedly groping two women on campus, then assaulting a police officer who tried to take him into custody, authorities said.

Robert David Schaerges, 26, remained in Yolo County Jail custody Wednesday afternoon in lieu of $20,000 bail. He declined an interview request from The Enterprise.

His arrest occurred on the same day that Yolo Superior Court officials issued bench warrants stemming from Schaerges’ failure to appear in court to face charges stemming from an arrest back in February, court records show.

UCD police Lt. Matt Carmichael said Schaerges is suspected of sexually battering two women at about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday on a bike path near the ARC Pavilion.

“He sexually battered one female victim, and she got away from him,” Carmichael said. Schaerges allegedly did the same to a second woman, “but then held her so that she couldn’t get away.”

Eventually, the second woman was able to break free and call police, Carmichael said. As they conducted their investigation, officers obtained witness statements that indicated other women may have been groped or fondled by the suspect, “but they haven’t come forward.”

Anyone with additional information about the case is asked to contact the UCD Police Department at (530) 752-1230.

Police from the UCD and Davis police departments searched the area for the suspect, who was spotted at about 9:40 p.m. near The Colleges at La Rue housing complex, Carmichael said.

“Upon initial contact he assaulted one of our officers, and then he fled,” Carmichael said. At least one Taser was deployed to subdue the man, but “it was unsuccessful.”

At about 11 p.m., police issued a campuswide automated alert via text messaging and cell phone calls. As the residents of one unit at The Colleges were receiving the text, they spotted a man matching the suspect’s description inside their apartment, Carmichael said.

“He was known to at least one individual in that apartment,” Carmichael said, though he declined to elaborate about the nature of their relationship. “They saw him, put two and two together and detained him until police arrived.”

Schaerges is scheduled to be arraigned Friday on two counts of sexual battery, one count of false imprisonment and one count of assaulting a peace officer.

Carmichael said Schaerges is not a suspect in the sexual battery of a 14-year-old girl or the rape of a 16-year-old girl at the Whole Earth Festival techno pit earlier this month.

His bench warrants stem from a bizarre run-in Schaerges had with Davis police in February, when his bike collided with a car on Russell Boulevard near Arthur Street. Police said he apologized to the driver, tossed $40 in her lap and left, saying he was in a hurry to “buy some weed.”

He later returned to the scene and danced atop a nearby concrete wall while refusing medical aid for injuries he sustained in the collision, police said. Officers arrested him after he allegedly ignored orders to stay on the scene and reportedly found him in possession of more than 30 grams of marijuana.

Schaerges failed to appear for his scheduled May 18 arraignment on charges of resisting or obstructing police, public intoxication and possession of marijuana, according to court records, which also show that his probation in a 2010 DUI case has been revoked.

— Reach Lauren Keene at [email protected] or (530) 747-8048. Follow her at www.twitter.com/laurenkeene

Lauren Keene

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