Police launched an investigation into five incidents of cellphones being pointed at women using changing areas in a bathroom at Connecticut College and said the there are more cases than they have received reports for.
On Thursday, police said they have identified a student at the school as a possible suspect.
Three of the victims, who are all female students, told police that they were in the changing area when they saw a cellphone camera above or below the stall.
Two of the incidents happened in October and the others happened in November, December and in late January in “gender-inclusive” bathrooms, which anyone can use, in two residence halls, according to police.
The women said they were in the changing areas at Morrisson House and Plant House when they believe they saw a cellphone camera above or below the stall door recording them as they disrobed, got dressed or dried off. One incident happened at Morrisson House, the other four happened at Plant House, according to New London Police Capt. Brian Wright.
Police said they have a suspect, a 20-year-old man who is a student at the school. He has not been publicly identified or charged. But New London Police Chief Peter Reichard said they have enough probable cause to move forward.
“When it continues on and on and on and patterns are appearing, we know we have something serial going on,” he said.
Detectives still need to do a forensic investigation of the seized technology and see what footage there is and whether it’s been distributed.
“Everyone leaves a digital footprint when they do things. Everybody on the campus has an access control badge so we are able, through computers, to track people’s moves,” Reichard said.
Charges could include voyeurism charges, computer crime charges, and breach of peace, the chief said.
Police said detectives were in contact with a male Connecticut College student and seized several electronic devices.
Reichard said Thursday that it appears that just one suspect is responsible.
Based on the preliminary evidence, the investigation has evolved to include more than the five incidents reported, according to police, and the investigation is ongoing.
Police said Connecticut College is conducting a Title IX investigation. Title IX “protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities that receive Federal financial assistance.”
Connecticut College spokesperson Tiffany Thiele told NBC Connecticut in an emailed statement that matters of student discipline are not public.
Thiele wrote, “The safety and security of our students is our highest priority. As soon as we learned about the situation, we took immediate action on campus and have been communicating with our students and coordinating with them on the steps we are taking.
Additionally, we have taken measures including the installation of privacy curtains in an affected residence hall, increased patrols by our Campus Safety department, and ensured that there are private restroom options in the affected buildings.”