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Cal Poly professor sentenced to probation for using phone to look up colleague's skirt

Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 19, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-19 22:09:05-04

A Cal Poly professor says she was in the mail room last year when a colleague used his phone to look up her skirt.

This Monday, Jason Alan Williams pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge of using a device to see through clothing for arousal.

"Extremely violating, extremely violating," said Kendra Williams.

On May 2, 2018, Williams says her fellow professor used his cell phone to take pictures up her skirt. Williams says the experience was traumatizing, and she immediately took a leave of absence from Cal Poly.

Now, she says she's realized how important it is for her to share her story.

"For my own recovery so that I can kind of get past the triggers of this trauma but too, just making people aware of what it's like to live through a sexual assault," Williams said.

She says she experienced the limitations that come with being a victim of this type of crime and hopes to make change.

"Under the laws of California, it only allowed for a minor misdemeanor to be brought to the man who did this to me and really prevented the DA's office from being able to bring more stringent charges," Williams said.

San Luis Obispo County District Attorney Dan Dow says that's because police didn't have evidence of any inappropriate pictures. He says they waited days to try and collect the phone and by then, it was too late.

"Law enforcement should go ahead and retrieve the phone even if it's broken rather than to take a suspect's word for it. Gather that broken phone and bring it to the district attorney's cyber office forensics lab," Dow said.

He says the lab could have tested it for evidence, but without those pictures, it wasn't possible to form a more serious case.

Williams says she is looking forward to teaching again and will continue fighting for change.

"I didn't choose to come into this role but I also really look forward to being an advocate and being somebody who is going to challenge really kind of archaic systems," Williams said.

Jason Alan Williams was sentenced to five years probation and he is subject to a search of any of his electronic devices at any time. Cal Poly says he has been suspended pending a disciplinary review.

KSBY reached out to Jason Williams' attorney but she was unavailable for comment.