ST. GEORGE — A Utah man was sentenced to prison Monday for hiding cameras in bathrooms at LDS church meetinghouses and in the homes of his relatives. His crimes were brought to light in February 2017 after his family members found two cameras he concealed in an upstairs bathroom of a luxury villa rental at The Ledges in St. George.
James Steven Larsen, 40, of Magna, was ordered to serve concurrent terms of up to five years in prison for three third-degree felony counts of voyeurism involving a minor victim.
Larsen pleaded guilty to the charges last month. As part of his plea agreement, 13 additional class A misdemeanor voyeurism charges were dismissed.
Larsen’s prison sentence will run concurrently to a year in jail ordered in a separate case in St. George, where Larsen pleaded guilty in November 2017 to one third-degree felony and one class A misdemeanor for voyeurism after he was caught hiding cameras in a rental property.
In that case, one camera was hidden behind a toilet and pointed toward the shower, according to charging documents. The other camera was hidden behind a trash can and pointed toward the area a person would have to walk to access the shower.
During an interview with police, Larsen admitted to buying the cameras and placing them with the intent to obtain nude video of his sister-in-law in the home, charges state. As St. George police investigated, Larsen told them of the recordings he had on SD cards stored in his vehicle in Magna.
Unified Police obtained a search warrant for Larsen’s vehicle, where they recovered three SD cards, two cameras and keys to three different LDS meetinghouses in the Magna area, according to court documents. Larsen said he used the keys to sneak into the meetinghouses early on Sundays to hide cameras in the restrooms and then return to retrieve the cameras the next day.
Upon searching the memory cards and two cameras found in Larsen’s vehicles, investigators found 16 images of adults and children, court documents state. Larsen told police his sister-in-law was his “target,” and in addition he would “just catch whomever.”
Larsen had also placed cameras in bathrooms while visiting in multiple relatives’ homes, according to charging documents.
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