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Videotaping incident in J-Hall causes new security measures

A motion sensor that chimes when someone enters the women’s bathroom is one of the new additions

William James

The Broadside

 

 

On Saturday morning at Central Oregon Community College’s residence hall, Juniper Hall, a female freshman student reported to Bend police and COCC officials that she had been videotaped taking a shower by someone with an iPod. The incident has sparked debate about the positives and negatives of cameras on handheld devices.

“This is still an open investigation,” said Jim Bennett, head of campus security. “We are still following up on information and waiting for somebody to come forward and identify who committed this crime.”

Under the Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004 it is illegal to film, “without consent under circumstances in which that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

Oregon’s Invasion of Personal Privacy Statute states that it illegal to record in  “places and circumstances where the person has a reasonable expectation of personal privacy.” According to the Oregon statute this includes a bathroom, dressing room, locker room that includes an enclosed area for dressing or showering, tanning booth and any area where a person undresses in an enclosed space that is not open to public view.

In 2007, the Los Angeles Times reported that Sarah Vasquez sued Best Buy and their technical support and computer repair team Geek Squad, claiming they were legally responsible for dispatching a technician named Hao Kuo Chi to their home. They went on to claim Chi placed a cellphone with a recording device in their bathroom, which recorded the 22 year old Vasquez and her 13 year old sister Kelly Rocha showering. As well, two years ago police launched an investigation into a growing rash of incidents known as ‘e-brawling’, where students, usually using their cell phones, shot recordings of other students fighting on campus with intent to upload them to YouTube.

As it relates to the showering incident in Juniper Hall, Bennett along with Robert McDilda, Safety and Security Supervisor at COCC, stressed that steps were being taken to increase security. Bennett specified that chimes have been installed in the showers, which are separate from the Juniper Hall doors.

“How they work is, there is a sensor that will go off when you walk through the door,” Bennett explained. “The chime will then alert whoever is in the shower that somebody has entered the room.”

“As they have time or as the situation merits, they will patrol more frequently,” said McDilda, who also explained that he has directed heightened patrols to take place around Juniper Hall.

Bennett stressed the seriousness of what has taken place, saying that “(the showering incident) is a terrible invasion of privacy, and we want to identify whoever is involved as quickly as possible. We are looking for anybody who has info.”

If you have any information or if you know who was involved with the showering incident in Juniper Hall, please contact Campus Security at 541-383-7272. You may remain anonymous.

You may contact William James at wjames@cocc.edu

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