Crime

Affidavit: Camera hidden inside mall restroom Wi-Fi enabled, footage accessed remotely

EL PASO Texas - The camera hidden inside a family restroom at Cielo Vista Mall by an alleged peeping Tom was Wi-Fi enabled and appeared to be transmitting footage to a remote location, a complaint affidavit states.

Jose Marquez, 28, the alleged peeping Tom, was arrested earlier this month and charged with Possession of Child Pornography and Invasive Visual Recording/Bathroom.

According to a complaint affidavit obtained by ABC-7, Marquez placed a Sony Camera in the family restroom outside the women's Dillard's. The camera allegedly recorded approximately seven videos showing adults and children using the family restroom. Both adult and children's genital areas were recorded, the affidavit states.

Investigators learned the camera used to record the footage has the capability to transfer content to a smartphone or tablet if connected to Wi-Fi. The affidavit states investigators believe the camera was connected to Wi-Fi because Marquez allegedly returned to the restroom to reattach the camera underneath the restroom's sink after it fell, the document states.

The camera was discovered shortly after it was reattached and reported immediately. Police said the camera recorded images of Marquez when he reattached it to the sink. It was those images that eventually led to his arrest.

Marquez was identified through news posts on Facebook and multiple tips, police said. During the investigation, police seized several electronic devices allegedly belonging to Marquez. The investigation resulted in the filing of child pornography charges.

Police are asking anyone who used the upper level family restroom outside the women's Dillard's, in between 11:30 am and 1:05 pm, on April 22, 2017 to come forward. "There are graphic images of people in compromising positions and the victims may not be aware of it," a police spokesman said.

"The number of victims in the first set of videos is in the neighborhood of possibly 20 (people)," said Lt. Liston of the Intern Crimes Against Children unit.

"This something that has been somewhat of a recent trend across the nation so it doesn't surprise us that we saw something like this in El Paso. There's been arrests in Odessa there's been arrests in Fort Worth, Dallas where people have put cameras in restroom and even dressing rooms," said police spokesman Det. Javier Sombrano.

 


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