A custodian is the subject of the ongoing voyeurism investigation at Vancouver’s Alki Middle School. According to court records, the investigation, which came to light last week, began after his live-in girlfriend said she discovered a video on his computer of a girl changing clothes in a locker room.
Authorities have not publicly identified the employee or made any arrests, as of Wednesday afternoon.
Clark County sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Chris Skidmore said Wednesday the investigation is complex, and detectives want to make sure they have checked all the details before making a decision to make an arrest or refer charges to the prosecuting attorney.
A 38-year-old man is being investigated for allegations of first-degree dealing in and possessing depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct and first-degree voyeurism, according to a search warrant affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court.
Detectives seized several of the employee’s electronic devices, including computers, while executing search warrants at his Hazel Dell house. Skidmore previously said deputies also searched at Alki and nearby Skyview High School. Alki students are in the sixth, seventh and eighth grades.
The employee invoked his right to remain silent and has retained an attorney, Skidmore said last week.
Vancouver Public Schools officials announced last week that they were searching locker rooms and restrooms throughout the district, in light of the investigation and the fact that the employee had also spent time at Skyview.
In an emailed statement Wednesday, the school district told The Columbian it completed searches of all of its buildings on the evening of Oct. 6 and did not find any cameras or active recording devices.
“We continue to fully cooperate with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. Due to the ongoing VPS and Clark County Sheriff’s Office investigation, we are unable to provide further information at this time,” the statement reads. “Again, our highest priority is to protect the safety and well-being of students and staff, and we will share more information when it is possible to do so.”
The school district previously said the employee has been stripped of access to district systems and buildings and placed on leave.
Search warrant affidavit
The investigation began Oct. 5. A woman told detectives she had moved in with her boyfriend, who works as a custodian at Alki, about two to three months ago. That morning, she woke up after he left for work, walked by the computer room and saw his computer was open, she said. She sat down and started looking through files, she said, and found a video of a girl dressing in a locker room. The video appeared to be from a hidden camera, placed low to the floor and pointed upward at a high angle, the affidavit states.
After discovering the video, the woman called her boyfriend and said, “Tell me that’s not Alki.” The woman said her boyfriend admitted to planting a camera in the locker room because there had been problems with theft. When she confronted him about that being a lie, he allegedly said, “It’s not sexual. I don’t do anything with them. It’s about having them,” the affidavit reads. He also allegedly told her, “I have a problem.”
Court records show the woman has since filed for and was granted a temporary protection order against her boyfriend, citing the criminal investigation.
Reporter Griffin Reilly contributed to this report.