An 18-year-old from Moorhead is accused of taping his phone underneath a sink in a women's restroom to record people using the toilet.
Charges against Sam Thomas Hagen say three juvenile girls went to use the restroom at the restaurant Hagen worked the evening of May 5, and noticed the phone was on and recording.
According to the criminal complaint:
They alerted the manager – who said Hagen left once the girls found the phone.
Investigators tracked Hagen down and interviewed him twice. The first time he admitted to concealing the phone, saying he did it for "sexual pleasure." He also said he was caught doing it at a previous job, but a police report was never filed.
In a follow-up, Hagen said he didn't intend to record underage girls – but said he was aware the restaurant's restroom would be used by both adults and juveniles.
He gave them the passcode to his phone – investigators found three videos, taken from April 12 through May 5, of women using the restroom. The video also shows Hagen positioning the camera.
Hagen is charged with a felony count of interference with privacy (because a minor was involved) – that's a sentence of up to two years in prison and a fine up to $5,000 if convicted. He's also facing three more counts of gross misdemeanor interference with privacy, which is up to a year in prison and $3,000 fine.
Unfortunately, though unsurprisingly, people using camera phones to covertly record people in bathrooms is not an uncommon thing now.
This NBC News story from a few years ago explained that peeping toms are able to go high-tech not just with camera phones, but smaller and smaller electronics in general.