A man has been arrested after he dressed as a woman to secretly record girls and women in a Massachusetts mall’s restroom, police said.
Jacob Guerrero, 23, of Woonsocket, was arrested Monday night.
The investigation began Aug. 24 when police received a call from customers at the Wrentham Village Premium Outlets complaining of a person, who appeared to be a man dressed as a woman, acting suspiciously in the women’s restroom. Police said.
Wearing a blonde wig, investigators said Guerrero followed girls as young as 12 into the bathroom.
“What he would do is sit in the stall next to the vacant stall in hopes to place his foot in the position where he would be able to view the people in the adjoining stall,” said Wrentham Police Chief Bill McGrath.
A witness took notice and later snapped a photo of the suspect, investigators say, allegedly capturing the tools he used: tiny pen-style surveillance cameras that were tucked into his shoelaces.
“Pen cameras are easily concealed surveillance cameras that have the ability to record video and photos on micro SD cards contained within the pen. The photos or video captured can then be transferred to any device, including cell phones and computers,” police said.
Guerrero left the area by the time police arrived, authorities said. However, video surveillance footage ultimately led police to identify Guerrero.
Police obtained an arrest warrant and executed it on Sept. 2 during a motor vehicle stop. Guerrero was released on bail later the same day, but an investigation continued.
Investigators later executed a search warrant for Guerrero’s car and cell phone, uncovering “sufficient evidence” to obtain a second arrest warrant for 12 counts of possession of child pornography.
Police said evidence from the second arrest warrant included 12 videos where the unsuspecting victims were either nude or partially nude, five of the victims being under the age of 18.
Guerrero was taken to the Wrentham Police Department where he was booked and held without bail.
He was arraigned Tuesday morning on one count of child pornography. He has pleaded not guilty. While in court, prosecutors highlighted the search of Guerrero’s phone.
“That examination recovered approximately 240 photographs as well as 23 videos of individuals in a state of undress,” said prosecutor Chris Cook.
McGrath said this had been a “lengthy investigation” and that Guerrero had been arrested previously for photographing an unsuspecting nude person(s).
Several of the individuals in Guerrero’s videos are believed to be between 8 and 11 years old, police noted. One of the videos is Guerrero secretly filming a girl undressing through her bedroom window, authorities said.
Guerrero’s bail was set at $25,000.
A judge ordered him to stay away from his alleged victims and avoid unsupervised contact with anyone under the age of 18 if he posts bail.
In court filings, investigators also detailed a case where Guerrero allegedly used the mirror of a truck to record a teenage girl out walking with her family.
Police said they believe it happened while Guerrero was on the job delivering for Amazon. An Amazon spokesperson told WJAR that Guerrero is no longer an employee. McGrath said the department believes there may be additional victims.