THOUSAND OAKS : Binge No Cause for Leniency, Judge Rules


A Newbury Park man with a 10-year history of alcohol-related crimes was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for trying to rape two elderly women while on a drinking binge.

Superior Court Judge Charles W. Campbell Jr. brushed aside defense suggestions that David Paul Stewart be treated leniently because he cannot control his drinking. While Stewart, 33, is no threat to others when he is sober, he chose to drink even though he knew it would get him into trouble, the judge said.

“He decided whether he would drink alcohol or not,” Campbell said. “No one made him drink those drinks. No one ordered those drinks for him. . . . He made that decision and he’s responsible for it.”


Stewart pleaded guilty in September to two counts of assault with intent to commit rape in connection with attacks on two women, ages 87 and 73, after breaking into their Thousand Oaks apartments in May.

At a June 30 preliminary hearing, the older victim said she fought Stewart off by hitting him repeatedly with a telephone. The 73-year-old woman said the defendant came into her bedroom about 2:30 a.m., touched her and tried to kiss her.

At the sentencing, several people spoke on Stewart’s behalf and said his problems were the result of his drinking. Defense attorney Barry Post told Campbell that Stewart “needs treatment, not punishment.”

But Campbell noted that Stewart did not get treatment when he was placed on probation in 1989 after his third drunk-driving conviction. Stewart was sent to prison for violating the terms of his probation, and when he got out he began drinking again, the judge said.

“He’s an adult--he’s been an adult for a long time,” Campbell said. “He has to take responsibility for his actions.”