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Jail time, sex offender treatment for man who hid camera in Mall of America fitting room

Authorities say he was caught in the act at the mall's Forever 21.

An Elk River man accused of placing a hidden camera in a Mall of America fitting room so he could watch women and children undress will serve 90 days in jail and must take part in sex offender treatment.

Trevor Nielsen was charged in September of 2020 with one count of interference with privacy against a minor, after authorities say he was caught in the act at a Forever 21 fitting room at the Mall of America.

Nielsen, 41, indicated his intent to plead guilty to the one count on May 20, 2021. On July 19 he was sentenced, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office announced.

The court agreed to stay the imposition of the sentence for three years, as long as Nielsen does not violate terms of his supervised probation during that time. He will also  serve 90 days in jail and must attend sex offender treatment.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Nielsen:

Police were called to a Forever 21 store on Sep. 28, 2019, in the Mall of America after a manager had noticed Nielsen was in the fitting rooms for nearly an hour.

The manager told police Nielsen had done the same thing two months prior when staff found a camera in the changing room after he’d left. When police searched Nielsen, they found a cell phone and black tape that matched the camera mounting in the dressing room.

Nielsen admitted to having hid the camera in the fitting room multiple times before. He admitted to filming several girls, including the 15-year-old daughter of his girlfriend. Nielsen was able to watch the video feed from the camera on his cell phone.

A police search of Nielsen’s digital devices found a large number of nude and semi-nude pictures of people in charging rooms, many of whom are likely to be underage. Officers also found footage of teenage girls at Elk River High School, swimming pools and parks.

Footage showed that Nielsen would also attach a camera to his pant leg or shoe and stick his foot under the changing room barrier to film people. 

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