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Ex-CLU Student Guilty of Battery

VENTURA COUNTY ROUNDUP / East County | Thousand Oaks

September 23, 2000|MATT SURMAN

A former Cal Lutheran University freshman was found guilty of misdemeanor battery this week, two months after sex charges against him were dropped.

Alejandro Castaneda, 19, was sentenced to time served and one year of probation after a jury deliberated for about two hours, finding Castaneda guilty of battery but not sexual battery. Deputy Dist. Atty. Audrey Rohn said she was satisfied with the verdict and that it is tough to prove sexual battery in a case of touching.

In July, prosecutors dropped six felony sexual assault charges against Castaneda, saying they could not prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Castaneda had been accused of sexually assaulting an 18-year-old female student in a dormitory room at the Thousand Oaks campus last fall.

The alleged victim, a freshman, told a judge during a preliminary hearing earlier this year that Castaneda forced himself on her after they had been drinking alcohol at a campus carnival. But the woman's roommates, called as defense witnesses, questioned the woman's credibility.

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