Authorities at Pennsylvania State University arrested a man earlier this month on suspicion of photographing women showering in a university hostel.
According to Centre County documents, Xinyu Li, 24, is charged with two counts of criminal trespassing and two charges of invasion of privacy by observing or photographing a person without consent after reportedly sneaking into a Penn State residence and recording two ladies using the school’s showers.
According to a criminal affidavit from Penn State University police, the first female victim was showering on the third floor of Hamilton Hall at 8:26 p.m. on Oct. 7 when she observed a person standing next to the cubicle she was in. The victim then observed “a cell phone above the top of a shower stall,” according to the affidavit.
“The phone went away and came back up. The person started to run away. The victim stated the suspect ran out of the bathroom and down the hallway,” the complaint reads.
According to authorities, surveillance cameras showed the suspect entering Hamilton Hall by piggybacking, or trailing behind, students who had legitimate admission into the facility. At the moment, he was dressed in an argyle sweater, black shorts, white sneakers and black, wire-rimmed glasses.
A week later, on Oct. 14, at 9:30 p.m., a second female victim was showering on Hamilton Hall’s third floor when she observed a phone peeping out from the bottom of the cubicle she was in. According to a second police affidavit, she told officers that she believed the phone was “under the stall wall for a few seconds” before the suspect escaped.
Surveillance cameras appear to have captured the culprit once more, this time dressed in a black Adidas jacket, khaki shorts, black slides, and black, wire-rimmed spectacles.
“Of note, the stairwell terminates on the [third] floor hallway, directly adjacent to the [third floor] bathroom,” the second complaint states.
After fleeing the second incident, the suspect seemed to descend the staircase onto the first floor, when he pulled up the hood of his jacket and exited near the building’s cameras.
Li was then allegedly seen leaving the building’s foyer, removing his jacket and putting it beneath his argyle jumper. Cameras purportedly captured him exiting the building’s loading dock into a maroon pickup truck.
Following the two victims’ complaints, police combed the neighbourhood and discovered a truck matching the description of the suspect truck in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Toftrees Avenue. Investigators ran the truck’s plates, which revealed that it belonged to a company called Comet Tech, Inc.
“A Google search…shows the ‘Founder and President’ as Xinyu Li. The company is a delivery/ moving/ storage service for college students,” the affidavit states.
Authorities named Li as a suspect and arrested him on October 20.
“Li admitted to taking videos of both victims on separate occasions, noting that in one incident he took video over the shower stall, and in the other, he placed the phone under the shower stall. … Li initially felt guilty for doing so and deleted the videos,” police wrote.
After searching the suspect’s phone, a Penn State investigator discovered five videos of naked victims showering in Hamilton Hall. The detective discovered the recordings on an application “disguised as a calculator” in an attempt to “prevent detection of videos.”
Penn State did not reply immediately to a Fox News Digital request for comment, but a spokesman for the institution told StateCollege.com that “[t]he safety of [its] campus community is always Penn State’s top priority.”
“[W]e are grateful that University Police and Public Safety was able to identify the person believed to be responsible for these disturbing incidents,” spokesperson Jacqueline Sheader told the outlet. “UPPS, alongside numerous other departments and partners, work hard to develop and nurture the safest possible environment and to provide security services for students, faculty, staff and visitors. UPPS reminds the community that following critical safety protocols — such as not permitting unknown individuals access to residence halls — is important to help to keep our campus safe.”