Former Cal Poly ROTC chair pleads guilty to filming teen in dressing room

January 27, 2024

Jacob Sweatland


Former Cal Poly San Luis Obispo ROTC chair Lt.Col. Jacob Sweatland pleaded guilty to placing a spy camera in a dressing room in Pismo Beach and for conduct unbecoming an officer during his Jan. 22 trial at Fort Knox.

Military Judge John Maloney found Sweatland guilty of one count of indecent video recording and one count of conduct unbecoming an officer. He then sentenced Sweatland to be reprimanded.

Reprimands are administrative censures, and a lower level sentence. The terms of the reprimand, including if Sweatland will be permitted to remain in the Army, have not yet been released.

Pismo Beach officers arrested Sweatland on Sept. 2, 2022 after a teenage girl found a spy camera, which appeared to be a key fob, in a dressing room at PacSun at Pismo Beach Premium Outlets.

After calling the store seeking his key fob, Sweatland went back to the store. He then noticed officers and fled on foot.

Three hours later, officers arrested Sweatland at his home on charges of resisting arrest and invasion of privacy.

Shortly after his arrest, the Army removed Sweatland from his post at Cal Poly and ordered him to stay away from cadets. The Army later reassigned Sweatland to the 8th Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Brigade located at the Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington, where he is currently listed as serving.

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Bottom line, he got away with it. Very maddening.

How does nobody not know how things work? It’s the military. Civilians have no businesses knowing what’s going on and that’s how it works. Believe it or not these people are protecting you. And there will always be some bad apples. Have fun.

Looks like the US Army is following in the footsteps of the Catholic church no real consequences for obscene or lewd behaver, the taxpayer will be left paying for the damage in the long run.

Yes, agree with you. This guy should get at least three months in the brig and should have to register as a sex offender. That he doesn’t have to register is a travesty of justice.

Wow. What we need to know is which type of reprimand this is. Is it merely a Letter of Reprimand (LOR) or a General Officer Memorandum of Reprimand (GOMOR)? If it’s just an LOR, he really is catching a break. The GOMOR is a career-killer. I find it hard to believe that his career is going to survive this one, but I guess we’ll find out more. I never would have thought that the Army would have excused the flight school cheating at (then) Ft. Rucker, AL, but it did. Standards have definitely dropped since I joined up almost 18 years ago. This guy should be reassigned to Ft. Living Room right away.

He should be assigned to Ft Leavenworth Ks. for 3-5 years then dishonorably discharged with complete loss of all benefits.

The UCMJ normally holds military personnel to higher standards than civilians. Surprised that Sweatland hasn’t been ordered to resign his commission.

It seems that LTC Sweatland has so far not only dodged a bullet, but he has also dodged an RPG!