Teacher charged over spying on male roommate
A chemistry teacher in the US has been charged with two counts of voyeurism after secretly filming his male roommate in his bathroom.
Jonathan Downing, a professor at North Idaho College, was also charged with surreptitiously videotaping his male roommate’s girlfriend, reports Spokane-based news outlet KXLY.
However, the 35-year-old claimed that he only intended to film his male roommate naked and “inadvertently” filmed the girlfriend.
The 20-year-old victim, an ex-student of Downing the victim, who has known the teacher since he was 15, found the pinhole camera in the bathroom wall after he became suspicious.
The former student then searched their share computer and discovered videos and images of him in the bathroom without clothes on.
He then reported the incident to the police. The 20-year-old said that Downing would make sexual comments towards him, even though he knew he was straight.
Downing was arrested and questioned by the Coeur d’Alene Police Department.
The teacher then admitted to intentionally recording his roommate naked, but said he did not mean to film the woman.
Downing appeared in court on Thursday from jail via video link where his bail bond was set at $35,000, and he was ordered not to contact the victim.
Coeur d’Alene Police Department are now investigating the incident, and are calling on anyone who has lived with Downing in the past few years to contact the force.
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Downing was also an adviser for North Idaho College Gender and Sexuality Alliance, a group promoting safe environments for LGBT people, and had written on Facebook about hosting lesbian and gay young people in his house.
The group posted on Facebook, responding to Downing’s charges.
It acknowledged that “many people have been personally affected” by the news, and said that all group members are invited to a meeting on Monday 4 June.
North Idaho College’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance also copied an email that was sent to all North Idaho College (NIC) students.
The email states that Downing has been suspended from the college “pending the outcome of law enforcement’s investigation and NIC’s personnel process.”
“With an ongoing felony investigation and other personnel matters, we are limited in what we can share, but North Idaho College is committed to ensuring an environment that creates trust and safety for our students, employees, and our community.”