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Alleged restroom peeper pleads not guilty

A man from Overland Park has been charged with breach of privacy and criminal trespass after allegedly spying on women in a movie theater restroom. The 23-year-old man faces the misdemeanor charges in connection with an incident on July 16, in which a woman said she suspected that he was using a cellphone to video tape her in the restroom. The man has pled not guilty to the criminal charges.

Official reports indicate that the woman noticed that someone was holding a camera or cellphone beneath the bathroom stall wall as she was using the facilities. The woman suspected that someone was attempting to video-tape her or photograph inappropriate pictures. She told theater workers at about 11:30 p.m., and the workers notified police of the event.

Police officers say they searched for the man in the restroom itself, but they thought he might have climbed into the ceiling to escape. Firefighters joined in the search, using thermal imaging equipment to look for the man in the ceiling area. However, the man was unable to be found on July 16.

A tip on July 17 indicated that the man might still be in the theater. Thermal imaging scans were used again. He was found hiding in the ceiling near the women's restroom, according to reports, and he was arrested that afternoon. The man remains in custody on a $3,500 bail.

It is not clear whether authorities have confiscated any electronic equipment from the man, which he is purported to have used during the alleged violation of privacy. Officials have also not said whether the man has a criminal history of such conduct. Media reports have not indicated whether the charges levied against the man would have sex crime implications, due to the nature of the alleged violations.

At this time, the man is only facing misdemeanor charges in association with the incident, which carry significantly smaller penalties than felony charges.

Source: Kansas City Star, "Alleged rest-room peeper charged after hiding in theater ceiling," Robert A. Cronkleton, July 19, 2012

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