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Bryce Jordan Center Employee Allegedly Recorded Video of People in Men's Bathroom, Including During State High Prom

by on June 25, 2018 12:49 PM

After a student reported being filmed while using the men's restroom at the Bryce Jordan Center during the State College Area High School prom in May, a former Penn State employee has been charged with allegedly recording cell phone videos of people using the bathroom over a period of more than a year.

Charles W. Chamberlin, 54, of Spring Mills, is charged with 76 counts of invasion of privacy, a second-degree misdemeanor. A search of Chamberlin's cell phone found that he had recorded 22 different individuals on 38 occasions, police said.

Chamberlin was a full-time employee in food services and is no longer employed by the university, a Penn State spokesperson said.

"We find the allegations deeply disturbing," a university statement said. "The safety of our students, faculty, staff and others visiting our community is a priority and Penn State follows a comprehensive set of policies to investigate these issues. The University moves swiftly to investigate reports of wrongdoing when they are received, as we did in this case. We can confirm that this individual is no longer employed by the University. Penn State is committed to the well-being of our community and has strong protocols and training in place, which are under continuous review."

The student who reported the incident on May 14 that led to the charges was from another school district and was the prom guest of a State College student, according to SCASD Superintendent Bob O'Donnell.

“Despite our diligent efforts to protect students at this event, which included a State College Police officer, our security staff and multiple chaperones, we’re saddened that something this troubling has been reported,” O’Donnell said in a statement. “Because the safety of students is paramount, we continue to work with local law enforcement agencies to strengthen security at future district events. As always, we want to make sure we are doing everything we can to ensure the well-being of students in our care.”

According to a criminal complaint filed on Monday by Penn State police, the student said that at about 10:40 p.m. on May 14, he was looking for a bathroom when he found an adult male who showed him where it was and said he needed to use the restroom as well, entering with him. The student said while he used the urinal, the male entered the stall to his right and the student heard the sound of a camera activating on a smart phone.

The student looked over and saw an iPhone being pointed at him through a small opening between the stall and the wall, according to the complaint. The student then ran from the restroom.

Police reviewed video footage from the Jordan Center hallways and observed the student and the suspect enter the bathroom. About a minute later, the student was observed sprinting from the bathroom with a "shocked" look on his face and the suspect exited 10 minutes later.

Jordan Center administrators identified the suspect in still shots from the security camera as Chamberlin, who police also matched to a driver's license photo. 

Police attempted to interview Chamberlin, who was initially cooperative and allowed a detective to look at his phone, according to the complaint. Just before the detective began to do so, however, Chamberlin withdrew his consent, police said.

A search warrant for Chamberlin's phone was served and police allegedly found 37 other videos taken between April 2017 and April 2018 from inside of the same Jordan Center bathroom. Each video showed males, who were not aware they were being recorded, urinating, according to the complaint. Police said they identified 22 different individuals, some who were recorded on more than one occasion and none of whom consented to being recorded.

Police also reviewed Jordan Center security camera footage, which was only preserved back to Jan. 12, 2018. According to the complaint, police observed 17 times in which Chamberlin entered the men's room before another person that matched the time stamps on Chamberlin's iPhone videos.

Chamberlin's preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 25. 

Geoff Rushton is managing editor for Contact him at [email protected] or find him on Twitter at @geoffrushton.
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