Former Vancouver school custodian gets 10 years for 137 counts voyeurism

Published: Jan. 20, 2023 at 4:23 PM PST
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VANCOUVER Wash. (KPTV) - On Friday, 38-year-old James D. Mattson, a former Vancouver school custodian, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for more than a hundred counts of voyeurism by Clark County Judge David Gregerson.

The prosecution asked for 15 years, while Mattson’s defense asked for the typical maximum for a voyeurism case which is five years. However, Judge Gregerson ruled that based on compelling victim statements and the sheer amount of voyeurism charges, the unprecedented nature of this case warranted a 10-year sentence.

“The court sustains that argument that the legal basis exists for an exceptional sentence in this case,” Gregerson said.

Mattson had at least 55 known victims and investigators believe there were likely more unknown victims.

During the sentencing, prosecution read a statement from detectives saying that the digital devices that held the videos are still being analyzed by the FBI, and more videos and victims will likely be identified. As that work continues, the detectives said this case will become the largest voyeurism case in Washington state history.

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Many of the victims were employees at the school, and in their statements, many said Mattson’s actions left them feeling violated and unsafe in their workplace. They also felt betrayed as during his time working as a janitor at the school, he had befriended many of the women he recorded.

Before receiving his sentence, Mattson spoke briefly, saying he regretted his actions.

The statements made today will stay with me forever,” Mattson said. “I’m deeply ashamed of what I’ve done, and I’m so sorry to everyone. I just got out control.”

Mattson will also be serving three years of probation after his prison sentence.

In October 2022, Mattson was charged with 137 counts of voyeurism, starting back in 2013 with videos taken in female staff bathrooms at Skyview High School. Vancouver Public Schools said Mattson started as a substitute custodian with the district in 2007 and was most recently a building operator and assistant flag football coach at Alki Middle School.

The initial report of voyeurism was made on Oct. 5 by school staff at Alki Middle School, but the district and police searched all district buildings due to Mattson’s role.

Mattson had left school grounds by the time the incident was reported, and police said in October that he was not cooperating with the investigation that included a search of his home.

He was arrested on Oct. 13 and booked into the Clark County Jail.

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At the time of Mattson’s arrest, the school district said all locker rooms and bathrooms in the district were searched and no devices were found. The district sent a statement Oct. 13, which read in part: “Our students and staff and their safety are at the heart of everything we do. We will continue to support our young people and staff by making counselors available, and fully cooperating with the law enforcement.”