By Associated Press - Monday, October 13, 2014

MANKATO, Minn. (AP) - A community adviser at Minnesota State University was charged with four felonies Monday after authorities say he broke into a dorm room over the weekend and attacked a woman with pepper spray.

Alexander James Gowan-Nuehring, 20, a student at the university, was charged with three counts of burglary and one count of stalking.

Mankato police said Gowan-Nuehring was arrested after the victim reported waking up to a masked man around 5 a.m. Saturday. The victim says the man used pepper spray before eventually running from the room. The victim suffered minor injuries when her earring apparently was ripped out of her right ear during the struggle.

According to the complaint, Gowan-Nuehring used his key card to access areas of Julia Sears Residence Hall, including an area where other key cards were stored.

Gowan-Nuehring told an investigator he intended to go into the room and steal something, the complaint said. When the woman woke up and shined a light on him, the suspect said he found a small cylinder of pepper spray and used it against her, but she still charged at him, the complaint said. Gowan-Nuehring said he went into two other rooms because he knew the occupants were gone, according to the complaint.

Officers searched the area and found a “Scream”-style mask, a pair of slippers and a skeleton glove, all apparently belonging to the suspect, the complaint said. A search of his dorm room found $138 on his desk and a black backpack containing a Minnesota State hoodie, a left-hand skeleton glove, a bottle of pepper spray, scissors, duct tape and a spray bottle of fake blood, according to the complaint.

A letter to dorm residents says Gowan-Nuehring has been placed on administrative leave for his duties as a community adviser, KTOE-AM reported.

Gowan-Nuehring was jailed and online court records did not list an attorney for him. Bond was set at $150,000 on Monday, The Free Press of Mankato reported.

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