BETTENDORF, Iowa (KWQC) - A Davenport West High School science teacher was arrested Friday morning after police say he video recorded women without their knowledge In his Bettendorf home in December and January.
(KWQC/Scott County Sheriff's Office)
Bettendorf Police Chief Keith Kimball said 58-year-old Clinton Randolph Van Fossen was arrested at his home.
He is charged with five counts of invasion of privacy and one count each of electronic and mechanical eavesdropping and obstructing justice.
The invasion of privacy and obstructing justice charges is an aggravated misdemeanor punishable by up to two years in prison, while the eavesdropping charge is a serious misdemeanor.
The Bettendorf Police Department opened an investigation after receiving a cyber tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
The tip involved what appeared to be a teenage girl being filmed, sometimes while nude, “likely without knowledge of the video/recording being present” at Van Fossen’s home, according to an arrest affidavit.
Contact was made at Van Fossen’s home Jan. 7 and two hidden “spy” cameras designed to look like smoke/carbon monoxide detectors were located mounted to the ceiling in a bedroom and the hallway just outside of the bedroom.
Police spoke with Van Fossen about the cyber tip and the cameras. He denied having any knowledge of the cameras and said he did not realize they differed in style from all other detectors in his home, according to the affidavit.
The investigation found that video footage captured in October showed him on a cell phone looking in the direction of a camera and then manually adjusting the direction of the camera. Footage from the camera system is commonly accessed using an app on a cell phone.
The investigation also found that Van Fossen bought a new cell phone at a store in Davenport hours after he talked with police, according to the affidavit.
The cell phone he previously owned was not located during a search of his home and it is believed that he destroyed it to prevent the discovery of evidence on the phone linked to the cameras and the investigation.
No records were obtained indicating Van Fossen had legitimately sold or pawned the phone, according to the affidavit.
Video footage also confirmed that women who stayed in the bedroom were videotaped in a state of nudity. The footage also confirmed the cameras in the bedroom had audio recording capability that allowed Van Fossen to overhear conversations between the females on a number of occasions, including on Dec. 27.
Footage also confirmed that two guests who stayed in the bedroom between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4 were recorded while nude on various occasions during their stay.
The women confirmed they did not know they were being recorded and did not give Van Fossen or anyone else with consent to record them.
Van Fossen was booked into the Scott County Jail at 12:18 p.m. and is being held on a $10,000 cash-only bond, online court records show.
Mike Vondran, spokesman for the Davenport Community School District, said the district was informed earlier this week that an investigation was underway by Bettendorf police.
Van Fossen was immediately placed on administrative leave with pay pending further investigation, Vondran said.
Kimball said the investigation is still ongoing. He asks anyone with information related to the case to call police at 563-344-4023.