Dozens of Women Secretly Taped in University's Bathrooms

A former doctoral student at the University of Delaware is accused of videotaping women in restrooms on the campus.

According to the Associated Press Javier Mendiola-Soto was arrested for recording women without their knowledge or consent over a two-year period using cameras hidden in bathrooms at the University of Delaware in Newark:

On Friday, authorities announced the July 1 arrest of a University of Delaware graduate student after cameras were found in women's restrooms on campus. They said 38-year-old [Mendiola-Soto], a doctoral student from Mexico, has been charged with 21 counts of felony violation of privacy was being held in Wilmington. A lawyer for the suspect could not immediately be located.

According to William H. McMichael with the News Journal, police do not plan to reach out to more women aside from the 40 they have already confirmed as being filmed Mendiola-Soto.

While hundreds of women were illicitly recorded, the state attorney general's office believes it now has enough evidence to successfully prosecute the suspect, UD's executive director of campus and public safety, Skip Homiak, said Saturday.

This decision is probably so prosecutors can speed up the trial against Mendiola-Soto, rather than waiting out a lengthy process to identify and track down all of the women who he filmed. While prosecutors will not reach out to additional women in attempts of including them on the case, they are asking women who think they may have been violated to contact them.

Homiak said the suspect, former doctoral candidate Javier Mendiola-Soto, has told UD Police he downloaded 1,500 separate videos taken of women using miniature cameras he hid in sanitary napkin dispensers in bathroom stalls on and around campus. But with some of the women having been recorded "three or four times," Homiak said, "hundreds" of victims would be an accurate estimate.

According to the News Journal, Mendiola-Soto used two cameras which he moved around from May 2012 through June 2014. He targeted five different locations: a staff-only bathroom at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute in the Delaware Technology Park, the Hugh Morris Library, Memorial Hall, the Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Laboratory and the Willard Hall Education Building. One of the cameras was spotted and reported to police on June 27.

Police said Mendiola-Soto also placed his cameras at a Goodwill Store on Main Street in Newark as well as in a bathroom at a residence he shared with women.

Fortunately, the Middletown Police Department concluded that none of the videos Mendiola-Soto shot were shared electronically. So at least there's that small bit of slightly good news in this horrific case.

Image via Shutterstock.