Former UO student pleads guilty to second degree sex abuse

Former University of Oregon student Sean Donald Wood, 23, pleaded guilty to sexual abuse in the second degree in Lane County Circuit Court Tuesday. Wood took the plea deal on the first day of his trial, after jury selection had begun.

In exchange for pleading guilty to second degree sexual abuse, a class C felony, the other five charges brought against Wood were dropped. Those included assault in the fourth degree, strangulation, attempted sodomy in the first degree, unlawful sexual penetration in the first degree and sexual abuse in the first degree.

Wood was arrested in March 2016 following an incident that occurred the month before. He was a UO student at the time, but is no longer enrolled in the school.

Sean Wood. (Lane County courthouse)

Wood was accused of penetrating the vagina of a non-consenting woman, also a UO student at the time, with his fingers.

Prosecutors had also charged Wood in a separate incident with a different woman from September 2013. Wood was accused of subjecting the woman to non-consensual sexual intercourse. Those charges were later dropped.

Wood will be sentenced on May 23. Class C felonies carry a maximum prison sentence of five years in Oregon. Wood will most likely have to register as a sex offender, according to the Oregon State Police website.

Wood’s trial was delayed multiple times and the charges brought against him were modified several times. There was a 14-month gap between his arrest and the beginning of his trial. Wood was free from custody on bail during that time, with restrictions only allowing him to travel between Eugene and his San Diego home for court.

Wood accepted the plea deal after the jurors returned from lunch on Tuesday afternoon. Sentencing is decided by judges in Oregon, so jurors were dismissed. Wood is represented by Eugene defense attorneys Andrew Coit and Max Mizejewski.

This story will be updated after next week’s sentencing.

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Jack Pitcher

Jack Pitcher

Jack Pitcher is the Editor in Chief of the Emerald. He's a business major and Trail Blazers fan.

Reach Jack at [email protected]