Former student gets 16 months in prison for sexual assault

Former University of Oregon student Sean Donald Wood, 23, was sentenced to 16 months in prison on Monday for charges related to a 2016 off-campus sexual assault. Following his prison sentence, he will serve three years probation and be required to register as a sex offender for life.

Wood pleaded guilty to second degree sexual abuse in May. He was originally charged with five other crimes, including 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. Those were all dropped after he pleaded guilty to the sexual abuse charge, a class C felony. 

Sean Wood was booked in Lane County Jail Monday afternoon after being sentenced to 16 months in prison. (Lane County Jail)

A UO senior at the time of the assault in March 2016, Wood was accused of penetrating the vagina of a non-consenting woman, also a UO student at the time, with his fingers.

It wasn’t the first time he had been accused of a sexual assault. Other charges were filed after a different woman accused him of a sexual assault in 2013, but were dropped after the victim decided not to participate in the court process.

Wood was booked in Lane County Jail shortly after 1 p.m. Monday. According to a court memorandum, Wood was expelled from UO following the March 2016 incident. He has lived with his parents in San Diego since that time, traveling to Eugene for court appearances.

In a memo to the court, Lane County prosecutor Katherine Green noted that Wood was “youthful and has the potential to be a productive member of the community,” which factored into the state’s decision to reach a plea deal with him and drop other charges. Based on these factors, and the fact that the case had already significantly impacted Wood’s life, Wood’s attorney’s requested he only get probation, rather than a prison sentence.

Arguing for the prison sentence, Green wrote that, “the factors that also must be weighed are the defendant’s use of force during this event and his repeated behavior in similar types of misconduct. These factors distinguish this defendant’s case from others and make a prison sentence appropriate.”

Ultimately, the judge agreed, sentencing him to 16 months.

According to the Register Guard, the victim’s attorney read a statement in court that said Wood had ripped off her dress, held down her hands and feet, bit her and grabbed her by the throat, despite her telling Wood “no” and “stop.”

Wood was apologetic and cried throughout the hearing, the Register Guard reported.

The Lane County District attorney’s office could not immediately be reached for comment.

Follow Jack Pitcher on Twitter @jackpitcher20 .

Do you appreciate independent student journalism? Emerald Media Group is a non-profit organization. Please consider a donation to support our mission.



Tell us what you think:

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]