A Vancouver man is facing charges, after police said he put a hidden camera inside the bathroom vent of a woman’s home.
The victim spoke with FOX 12, asking that we protect her identity.
“It’s just horrible,” she said Tuesday. “I mean – sick.”
The woman said she was in the shower at her apartment one day when she noticed part of the ceiling next to the bathroom fan had been cut away.
“I looked and saw something black up in there, and I got up on the toilet seat to get a better look and that’s when I saw the lens looking at me,” she explained. “It was horrible. So scary.”
She said she immediately covered the lens with her hand, ripped the camera from its hiding spot and turned it over to police.
Investigators said the camera captured video of not only the woman showering, but also both her and her daughter dressed in their underwear using the restroom.
According to court records in the case, the video also captured something else: Footage of the man who put it there.
Vancouver Police identified that man as 63-year-old Richard Townsend.
The victim said he works for her landlord and had offered to come in to fix her fan. She said she had no reason not to trust him.
“[You] can’t even feel safe in your own house after that really, either,” she said. “I’ve seen him for several years over there getting the apartment ready and every time someone moved out, he was there.”
Townsend was arrested and charged with three counts of voyeurism.
He made his first appearance in Clark County Court on Monday. Prosecutors said he posed a risk to the public and abused a position of trust. He was given a bail of $50,000 but posted bond and was released from jail while his case is pending.
According to court records, when Townsend spoke with police he “admitted to the camera being his and that he placed it in the vent. However, he claimed it was for construction purposes and forgot he left it there.”
In a later police interview, records show he changed his story, saying he “put the camera there in an attempt to surveille” the woman “to see if she was using drugs.”
A probable cause affidavit states he wanted to date the woman, and asked her out after the camera was recovered.
“I’m just worried that there might be other victims because I just can’t imagine I’d be the only one," the victim said. "I hope the cops do a good investigation and find out if there's anyone else out there [who may have been recorded] that doesn't know about it."
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