The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Man convicted of McCartney break-ins, multiple assaults, Lehigh University rape

Clement Swaby of Bethlehem faces nearly 300 years in prison for the rape and attempted assaults of Lafayette and Lehigh students. (Photo courtesy of The Express-Times)

After just two hours of deliberation last Friday, a jury found Clement Swaby guilty of 26 charges related to last year’s McCartney Street break-ins, several assaults and a 2020 rape of a Lehigh University student. Swaby faces up to 269 years in state prison; sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 22.

Tatum Wilson, a Northampton County prosecutor, said in a statement after the verdict was read that Swaby’s victims would “have their first restful night of sleep since the incidents occurred.”

Swaby’s crime spree allegedly began in Orange County, Fla., where sexual assault charges against the Bethlehem man are pending. Swaby later allegedly sexually assaulted a “half-asleep,” intoxicated woman in her Montgomery County, Pa. home in September 2019. He will stand trial there at a later date.

The series of events for which Swaby was convicted occurred over the course of 2020 and 2021. In May 2020, Swaby raped a Lehigh University student at knifepoint. The DNA collected at the scene proved instrumental in securing a conviction after Swaby’s defense attempted to convince the jury that the victims’ statements may have been coached.

Swaby’s final crimes were committed in the McCartney Street houses. He broke into the homes of two Lafayette students, threatening them with a knife and attempting to assault them. Swaby stole several hundred dollars and a Starbucks gift card from the students. He eventually confessed to the McCartney Street crimes.

Christopher Caserio, an attorney who represented Swaby up until the summer of 2022, when he could no longer afford his legal fees, wrote in an email that Swaby’s trial was unfair because the judge decided to have Swaby tried on all three matters concurrently.

“There were zero signs of forced entry. When police arrived on the scene all doors and windows were locked and secured,” Caserio wrote of the Lehigh University rape. “The victim in that case invited Mr. Swaby in for consensual sex to which she charged him money for. When he didn’t have the full amount she kicked him out. Sometime time later she called police.”

Caserio went on to write that the “victim had a drug problem” and that she may have been a prostitute.

Swaby demanded an apology for the Lehigh University rape charge, saying that the DNA evidence would exonerate him. The DNA found at the scene, however, belonged to Swaby.

“We are happy with the outcome,” director of Public Safety Jeff Troxell said. “I’m glad we were able to get him off the streets.”

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Trebor Maitin
Trebor Maitin, Managing Editor
Pennsylvania enthusiast.

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