Ex-UM student charged in filming

Posted Nov. 05, 2010, at 10:46 p.m.

ORONO, Maine — A former University of Maine student was charged this week with three counts of invasion of privacy after he allegedly videotaped fellow students while they were showering in their dormitory.

William D. Russell Jr., 19, was summoned in connection with the incidents, which took place in York Hall, on Monday, Penobscot County District Attorney R. Christopher Almy said Friday. Almy said Russell’s hometown was not available on Friday.

The three counts stem from complaints by three male students who told campus officials that someone had recorded video of them while they were showering at their dorm. Almy said the recordings took place without the students’ consent.

Russell was charged after a male student reported that while in a shower stall, “he looked up and saw an arm holding a black camera with a silver ring on it” over the shower curtain, Almy said, citing a report by campus police.

The student later identified the person who was recording him as Russell, Almy said. When campus police confronted Russell about the alleged recording, he did not deny it, Almy said.

“He admitted it,” Almy said.

Almy said campus police also asked Russell whether he had downloaded the footage onto his computer or uploaded it to the Internet.

“He said he did not,” Almy said. He said Russell would not give investigators permission to look at his computer because he said it contained other intimate images he did not want others to see. Almy said investigators did not have grounds to compel Russell to allow them to check his computer.

Russell, who Almy said was a student when the alleged offenses occurred, was no longer a student on Friday, UMaine spokesman Joe Carr said.

It was not clear Friday whether Russell was expelled or left voluntarily. Carr said he was unable to provide specifics, citing a federal law that protects the privacy of students.

Almy said Russell is scheduled to appear at the Penobscot Judicial Center on Dec. 16.

He said each count of invasion of privacy is punishable by up to one year in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

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