Vancouver custodian faces 137 counts of voyeurism after police find videos taken in high school bathrooms

A man who worked as a custodian for Vancouver Public Schools was arrested this week and charged with 137 counts of first-degree voyeurism after investigators found videos recorded in women’s staff bathrooms at a local high school, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

James D. Mattson, 38, of Vancouver made his first court appearance Friday in Superior Court to face the charges.

Vancouver Public Schools was tipped off by someone who lives with Mattson and saw the “disturbing images,” said Chris Skidmore, a public information officer for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. The district initially went to law enforcement with concerns about possible recordings of female students in the bathrooms at Alki Middle School, where Mattson worked, Skidmore said.

Sheriff’s deputies began a search of Alki, but didn’t find any cameras or evidence.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Mattson’s home, where they say he had videos taken in female staff bathrooms at Skyview High School dating back to 2013, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Mattson worked mainly at Alki but had access to buildings across the district, including Skyview, the sheriff’s office said. Skidmore said investigators did not find any cameras during their search of the schools and Mattson’s home.

The charges reflect 137 different videos, Skidmore said. The sheriff’s office Major Crimes Unit is only just beginning to identify potential victims with the help of the school district, according to a statement from the agency.

The law defines voyeurism — a class C felony — as a form of trespassing or invading the privacy of another person, particularly of intimate areas, without the person’s knowledge or consent and under circumstances where the person would have a reasonable expectation of privacy.

In a public statement after the case was first reported, Superintendent Jeff Snell said the district was conducting searches of all school locker rooms and bathrooms as a precaution.

“We are both angry and frustrated to have to send this message to our community because it means the trust you have placed in us to care for our community’s children and our staff has been disrupted,” Snell said. “We want you to know we are deeply sorry for the impact this situation is having on individuals and our collective community.”

— Savannah Eadens;; 503-221-6651; @savannaheadens

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