UD grad student accused of hiding cameras in campus bathrooms

By Amy Cherry 2:09pm, July 25, 2014 - Updated 4:59pm, July 25, 2014
Javier Mediola-Soto is accused of planting hidden cameras in bathrooms at the University of Delaware. (Photo courtesy of UD.)
A University of Delaware graduate student is arrested after the school says he hid cameras in campus bathrooms.

WDEL's Amy Cherry reports.

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The cameras were small, no larger than a pack of cigarettes, hidden in women's bathrooms in the hygiene dispenser for a period of two years.

"The UD community feels violated in addition to the women victims of this crime," said Skip Homiak, executive director of campus and public safety.

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38-year-old Javier Mendiola-Soto of Mexico, a grad student in the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources has been arrested. He faces nearly two dozen felony counts of privacy invasion. If he posts bail, he's required to stay behind bars under a federal immigration detainer.

Homiak tells WDEL since they discovered the first camera, they've swept every bathroom on-campus.

"We feel very confident that we have all the files; we feel very confident that we have the cameras involved," he said.

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Homiak is confident just two cameras were involved in the two-year operation. Mendiola-Soto would apparently retrieve the cameras, download the files, and then place the cameras back into bathrooms on-campus. In addition to the Biotechnology Institute, cameras were placed in bathrooms at the Morris Library, Memorial Hall, the ISE Lab and Willard Hall.

UD is hiring an outside security expert to determine whether there's anything the school could do differently and how other institutions across the U.S. have handled these types of incidents.

"We're in an age of technology where these kinds of devices are very common, they're very small, they're very inexpensive, and they can be secreted and hidden," said Homiak.

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Homiak assures the victims...

"Even though the video files were downloaded to his various computers, we know that he has not uploaded those files. They were not posted on the Internet; they were not shared with anybody else," he said.

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