BELLEFONTE — A Penn State student testified that she thought she was home alone late one night in June 2010 when a hand grabbed her shoulder.
Startled, she said she turned around to find a man exposing himself. He had broken into her home and snuck up behind her.
The woman ran out of her apartment screaming, she testified Tuesday in the trial for Ryan Ho, 34, of Patton Township, the man accused of accosting her and 19 other women.
Prosecutors said the scenario played out over and over during a nearly two-year span from August 2009 until Ho’s arrest in May 2011.
He is accused of finding women alone in dorm rooms, lounges and laundry areas on the Penn State campus, and in apartments in State College and Patton Township, and masturbating in front of them.
Police said he entered rooms naked wearing a ski mask or a surgical mask. He would allegedly remain absolutely silent during the incidents, then slip away.
In the more recent cases, Ho is accused of grabbing and fondling the occupants, or maneuvering to block their exit.
Following opening arguments Tuesday morning, prosecutors called woman after woman to the stand, each an alleged victim of Ho.
Those women, mostly international students enrolled at Penn State, painted a similar picture: a masked man entered their rooms, accosted them and fled.
Some of the alleged victims testified in person, while others had been videotaped.
One student said the man came to her in near-empty dorm building in August 2010, the day she moved in. International students arrive before most others, and no one was around to hear her screams, she said.
Another woman testified she was approached during the same time frame, in a separate dorm. “I screamed and no one responded, including the man standing there,” she said.
Not all of the alleged incidents occurred on campus. Another woman said Ho broke into her home on Waupelani Drive twice within the same month, September 2010.
He was arrested May 19, 2011, after police said he pried open the window of a Patton Township apartment about 2:30 a.m., slipped inside, and assaulted a woman in her bedroom.
Officers found him walking away from the scene. They said he was winded, had unkempt hair and was carrying a screwdriver, a pair of latex gloves and a black ski mask.
Police said he admitted to his involvement in other unsolved cases. He later pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Ho faces charges of burglary, trespassing, indecent assault and indecent exposure. He is represented by attorney Karen Muir.
Centre County District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller and Assistant District Attorney Nathan Boob are prosecuting the case.
Judge Pamela Ruest is presiding over the trial, which is scheduled to conclude Friday.
Matt Carroll can be reached at 231-4631. Follow him on Twitter @Carrollreporter