Man accused of sex assaults at U. to stand trial
A man accused in a string of sexual assaults on the University of Utah campus has been ordered to stand trial.
During a preliminary hearing Monday in 3rd District Court, the alleged victims testified against Gary W. Fotheringham, detailing a series of escalating assaults throughout the day of Nov. 4.
A U. freshman said she had just finished changing for a dance class that morning when she noticed a man standing with his back against a wall in a dark hallway, peering into the locker room. The student said the man later hid in a bathroom stall and said he believed he was in the men's locker room.
A junior at the university said about 4:30 p.m. she had finished studying in a campus building and bent over to pick up her backpack when a man came up from behind her and stuck his hand between her legs.
"It was very shocking," she said.
The woman said she followed the man and shouted questions at him. As she followed him, a pair of underwear fell out of the man's pocket, she said.
One student was unable Monday to identify Fotheringham as the man, and defense attorneys questioned the accuracy of the eyewitness identifications.
Police, however, say Fotheringham's attacks became more serious, culminating around 8:40 p.m. Police say the man followed another woman to her car and groped her as she attempted to get inside. Fotheringham tried to cover the woman's mouth with his hand and she bit his right finger, the charges state. When the investigation led detectives to Fotheringham, court documents state, the man had an injury to one of his fingers.
It would not be Fotheringham's first incident on the campus.
In 2010, University of Utah police arrested Fotheringham for lewdness in a women's restroom. According to documents filed in 3rd District Court, Fotheringham tried to film a woman in a bathroom stall with a cellphone camera.
The 31-year-old Fotheringham faces three second-degree felony counts of forcible sexual abuse and two misdemeanors. He is scheduled to be arraigned March 26 before Judge Robert Faust.