Crime

Belleville man allegedly sexually assaulted SWIC student

A 19-year-old Belleville man is facing sexual assault charges for allegedly violating a student at Southwestern Illinois College in Belleville, according to a college spokesman.

Shannon B. Schmidt, 19, of 707 Centreville Ave., has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual assault, a Class 1 felony, and one count of unlawful restraint, a Class 4 felony.

Schmidt allegedly sexually assaulted a 17-year-old female minor on May 11 and restrained the victim by picking her up and pushing her against a wall, according to the charging documents.

An attorney for Schmidt was not listed in court records.

Southwestern Illinois College’s Public Safety Department is investigating the incident as the crime allegedly occurred against a student on the SWIC Belleville Campus, according to a statement provided by SWIC spokesman Jim Haverstick. The victim reported the incident to SWIC Public Safety about 3 p.m. Friday.

Schmidt was arrested Friday and remains in St. Clair County Jail. He is being held in lieu of $250,000. If convicted, Schmidt faces four to 15 years in prison on each of the Class 1 felony counts and one to three years in prison on the Class 4 felony charge.

Schmidt was issued a Persona Non Grata, banning him from all SWIC campuses and activities, according to the statement provided by SWIC.

On Monday, St. Clair County State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly filed a motion for discovery related to the case.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan hosted a summit on campus rape in April at Southern Illinois University Edwardsvillle. She advocated for strengthening responsiveness in prevention and investigation of sexual assault at Illinois universities.

Madigan and Kelly are co-chairing a statewide task force on sex assaults.

“Last month we issued a new protocol for the investigation of sexual assaults in St. Clair County to all departments including the Southwestern Illinois College police which they follow,” Kelly said. “There is a high degree of difficulty in these cases because of jurors’ diverse feelings about sex and sexual activity, but we believe every effort should be made to hear the voice of victims.”

Contact reporter Jamie Forsythe at jforsythe1@bnd.com or 618-239-2562. Follow her on Twitter: @BND_JForsythe.

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