LSU is reviewing its residential housing policies after a young woman reported finding a registered sex offender from Texas apparently recording her in a dormitory hall shower last week.
“We’re looking at all of our visitation policies and security processes and procedures in light of this,” said Steve Waller, executive director of LSU’s Department of Residential Life.
As recently as a few years ago, school policy required dormitory residents to register their guests at the front desk of a dorm before guests could get past the lobby.
More recently, though, the school did away with the requirement — a policy the school is considering bringing back.
“It was very difficult for us to realistically enforce that, especially in a co-ed environment,” Waller said.
The school already has policies in place prohibiting people from using restrooms of the opposite sex in campus residences. Also, students need a school-issued identification card to enter the dorms, which remain locked at all hours.
And ultimately, the responsibility falls upon the resident to make sure his or her guest behaves.
“It’s impractical for us to create a prison environment,” Waller said.
Meantime, the sex offender, Mystyr Terry Stewart Jr., is being held without bail in the McLennan County Jail in Waco, Texas, after authorities there picked him up on an arrest warrant issued by LSU Police accusing Stewart of video voyeurism.
It could be awhile before Stewart, 27, returns to Louisiana to be processed by authorities because he must first be transferred to the Robertson County Jail, about 40 miles north of College Station, Texas, to face charges of failing to pay child support and violating probation, Robertson County Sheriff Gerald Yezak said.
According to the Texas Department of Public Safety’s sex offender registry, Stewart was convicted in 2001 on counts of aggravated sexual assault against two girls, 4 and 8 years old. He served six years in the state’s juvenile justice system for those crimes, according to the registry.
Records detailing the sexual assaults were unavailable.
LSU Police records suggest Stewart came to LSU last week to visit a 19-year-old female student who then lived at Herget Hall.
Both Stewart and the student, Nicole Crear, hail from Marlin, Texas, a tiny town that sits between McLennan and Robertson counties in Falls County.
On April 23, a young woman told police that as she was showering in a community bathroom on the second floor of Herget Hall, she looked down and noticed a cellphone suspended near the small gap between the floor and the stall divider. The phone’s camera piece pointed straight up at her, and she believed it was either recording video or snapping pictures of her, she later told a detective.
In response, the young woman, who like Crear is 19 and a student, immediately wrapped herself in a towel and confronted the person in the stall next to her — a tall naked man who police later identified as Stewart.
LSU Police arrived not long after and interviewed Crear, who claimed she didn’t know where Stewart was and that she only knew him as “Jeremy Sanders.” Soon after police wrapped up the interview, though, video surveillance shows Crear leaving the dormitory with Stewart, according to arrest documents.
After being questioned the next day by investigators, Crear told them she left the dormitory with Stewart in the middle of the night and drove him to Beaumont, Texas, where he planned to board a bus to Waco.
Crear, who officials confirmed is still enrolled at LSU but no longer lives at Herget Hall, was arrested and booked into East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a count of accessory after the fact to video voyeurism. Prison records show she soon posted a $5,000 bail and was released.
Around the same time, Waco police picked up Stewart and booked him into the McLennan County Jail.
Since then, authorities in Louisiana have been trying to figure out how and when they might be able to extradite him to Baton Rouge. But first, he’s got some matters to deal with in Texas.
In 2011, Stewart was arrested by the Texas Highway Patrol, accused of unlawfully carrying a weapon, briefly escaping from authorities and, finally, of bringing a prohibited substance into the Robertson County Jail, Sheriff Yezak said.
Sandy Robinson, a transfer clerk at the Robertson County Probation Department, said Stewart later received “deferred adjudication” from a judge on the prohibited substance in a correctional facility charge. Stewart was put under community supervision, similar to probation, that was set to expire several months from now, before the recent arrest, Robinson said.
Stewart faces 10 years in prison if a judge determines he violated the terms of his community supervision, Robinson said.
Follow Ben Wallace on Twitter @_BenWallace.