Lawrence man filmed women in his bathroom without their knowledge, affidavit alleges

photo by: Mike Yoder

The Douglas County Judicial and Law Enforcement Center, 111 E. 11th St.

A video found on a man’s cellphone shows him setting the phone down on his bathroom counter and, shortly thereafter, a woman undressing and getting into the bathtub, court documents allege.

Andrew Lark Parsons, 31, of Lawrence, was arrested Sept. 18 and charged Sept. 27 with two counts of breach of privacy, court records indicate. The charge is a low-level felony.

The Journal-World requested and recently received the affidavit in Parsons’ case. Allegations in affidavits have not been proved in court, and defendants in criminal cases should be presumed not guilty unless and until they are convicted.

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office declined to release Parsons’ booking photo to the Journal-World.

According to the affidavit:

A woman reported to a Lawrence police officer around 6 p.m. May 13 that she had received four photos and two videos of herself in the nude. The redactions in the affidavit make it difficult to discern who sent the images to the woman.

The images were taken from an angle that appeared to be from a hidden camera inside a bathroom, the affidavit says. The woman reportedly identified it as Parsons’ bathroom inside his Lawrence apartment, and she said she never consented to him taking such images of her.

The same day, the officer wrote that he spoke with another woman who said she had found the photos and videos on Parsons’ phone, but she did not feel comfortable confronting him about it. She alleged that he had threatened her before.

Officers conducted a search of Parsons’ apartment and his Samsung Galaxy S7 cellphone. A second officer reportedly searched Parsons’ phone and found videos with file names such as “Family.mp4”.

Several videos described in the affidavit reportedly show three girls or women — their ages are unclear from the document — individually entering the bathroom, taking off their clothes, using the restroom and getting into the bathtub or shower. In some, Parsons’ face is “clearly visible” as he places the phone on the bathroom counter, the affidavit says, and Parsons can sometimes be seen entering the bathroom and turning off the camera.

When police spoke with Parsons on May 27, he reportedly said he knew nothing about the videos or photos. He said he charges his phone in the bathroom; he was trying to show one of the alleged victims how to work the shower and where the body wash was located when he plugged his phone in and thought the camera was off, according to the affidavit.

“Parsons advised he thought he knew how this happened,” the affidavit says. “Parsons advised he downloaded a background camera app on his phone that allows the phone to record while the phone appears to be off.”

He said he’s “not saying I did or didn’t” record the videos, and said he might have pushed the button without realizing it, according to the affidavit.

Parsons allegedly demonstrated the recording for the officer: He turned on the app and set his phone down, leaning against the wall. The phone’s front-facing camera could record, but the screen was still dark.

He said he wouldn’t have taken those images and that if he’d known the phone was recording, he would have turned it off. He allegedly told the officer that he “was not that type of person anymore.”

“Parsons advised that he used to be that type of person in high school,” the affidavit says, “… ‘but I’m not like that anymore. I grew out of that stage.'”

He allegedly told the officer that he had been deleting pornographic material to make more space on his phone, and that more material would be located on the items seized from his home, including some photos sent to him by a 16-year-old.

The officer wrote in the affidavit that some electronic storage devices found in the search of Parsons’ apartment were pending review by the FBI’s Heart of America Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory.

Parsons’ appointed defense attorney, J. Philip Crawford, declined to comment for this article.

Parsons’ next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 19.

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