Former UI Student Pleads Guilty In Sexual Assault

By Hayley Bruce, Reporter

IOWA CITY -- A former University of Iowa student accused of locking a woman in her apartment and assaulting her last year, stealing bras and a computer, and soliciting a friend to tamper with the alleged victim has pleaded guilty to three charges against him.

Peng Tang, 22, pleaded guilty to extortion, soliciting to commit witness tampering, and entered an alford plea for third-degree sexual abuse. If served concurrently, he faces up to 17 years in prison.

The entire hearing Monday afternoon took place in Tang's native language, with the assistance of an interpreter. During the hearing, Sixth District Judge Ian Thornhill went over the possible sentences for each charge, the rights Tang would give up during his plea, and asked a series of questions to determine whether Tang was voluntarily and intelligently entering guilty pleas for each charge.

The plea comes after Tang allegedly forced a woman to perform sexual acts with him when she was showing Tang her apartment as a possible sublet. Police said he locked her in a room with him, put a towel in her mouth and tried to tie her hands behind her back. Police also said Tang took nude photos of the woman, threatened her with a knife, and threatened to post the photos on the internet if she talked to police.

Tang was also accused of solicitation to commit an aggravated misdemeanor after he allegedly sent a letter from jail asking a friend to convince the woman to change her story. He also faced felony charges after police say he stole bras, underwear and a Macbook Pro laptop — which police discovered while serving a search warrant on his home.

A sentencing hearing is scheduled for April 8 at 10 a.m.
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