Ex-UWC student pleads to sex assault

-A A +A
By David Giuliani

A former United World College student who recently pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting another is now going to college in Massachusetts.

Tabias O. Wilson, 19, was accused of one count of criminal sexual penetration, a third-degree felony.

In a plea agreement with the district attorney’s office, Wilson will be on probation for three years. He will not be deemed convicted of the crime if he follows the terms of the agreement. He will not be listed as a sex offender.

A person who answered the Oklahoma City phone number listed for Wilson in court documents said he is going to school at Tufts University. Wilson, represented by Las Vegas attorney Gerald Baca, entered the plea agreement last week.

According to the arrest warrant, Wilson, the victim and three other United World College students went to meet at a secluded spot on the campus to drink late into the night of Oct. 19, 2008.

The victim got drunk and could barely walk, so Wilson and another helped him down a hill to the dorms, state police said. They took the victim into a study room. While the others left, Wilson remained, police said.

Wilson performed oral sex on the victim and then sodomized him, the warrant states. The victim was too intoxicated to fight off Wilson, police said.

A day after the incident, the victim’s father called state police to report that his son had told him that he had been sexually assaulted. An officer then interviewed the victim and took him to a hospital in Santa Fe for a sexual assault examination.

According to the warrant, Wilson at first wouldn’t admit to the alleged sexual contact, but then acknowledged that he had oral sex with the victim. He said it was consensual, documents state.

District Attorney Richard Flores said the case would have been difficult to prove at trial, mainly because those involved were heavily intoxicated. But he said his office made it “crystal clear” to the victim that prosecutors were ready to take the case to trial.

“He (the victim), on numerous occasions, informed us that he didn’t want to proceed to trial,” Flores said in an e-mail.

The DA said his office didn’t have any independent witnesses to the crime.

Flores said the defense attorney, Baca, said his client would sign an agreement involving a no-contest plea. But he said prosecutors held their ground and got a guilty plea.

Flores added that it was likely the judge would have placed Wilson on probation anyway if the case had gone to trial because the suspect didn’t have a prior criminal record.

“If the judge felt there was an injustice, he had every right to reject the plea agreement,” Flores said.

Baca said his client is satisfied with the outcome of the case.

“He is looking to get on with his life. He is sorry for everything that happened, for having brought some heartache to the college campus at UWC,” Baca said. “He really appreciates all the support he received from friends and staff at the college. He is sorry for having to put them and the community through all of this.”

Lisa Darling, the college’s president, wouldn’t comment on last year’s incident. But she said the school prohibits students from using drugs, alcohol and tobacco. And those rules apply regardless of students’ age, she said.

Darling said students come from countries with widely varying rules. But they are required to follow American laws when they are here, she said.

She said a violation of the college’s alcohol policy is considered a “serious breach.”

“I don’t believe there is a major problem of substance use at the college,” she said.