Barbie costume attacker sentenced

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – The man who wore a pink Barbie costume as he assaulted a woman in a restroom at a Big Lots store was sentenced to three years and six months in county jail.

Gregory Phillip Schwartz, 41, is being given credit for time he has already spent behind bars, and will only spend about nine months behind bars, according to Deputy District Attorney Mary-Ellen Barrett.

Schwartz was convicted of felony false imprisonment and misdemeanor counts of assault and shoplifting. A jury did acquit him of assault with intent to commit rape.

According to Barrett, the victim went into the Big Lots store in the Clairemont Town Square Shopping Center on the afternoon of Feb. 28, 2014, and entered the women’s restroom while talking on her cell phone. She then noticed a man’s bare feet in the stall next to her, said Barrett.

The prosecution said Schwartz crawled under a partition and grabbed the victim by the neck. She screamed, but he put his hand over her mouth and told her “shhh,” according to the prosecution.

Barrett read a letter from the victim in which she said the incident left her with fear, paranoia and sleepless nights.

Schwartz had been “acting weird,” drinking and using methamphetamine, prior to the encounter, according to Defense attorney Brianne Murphy.

He was arrested two days after the attack.

Schwartz told a judge he wants to leave California after he gets out of jail, but Barrett said the defendant will be “a public safety risk wherever he goes.”

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