A total of five women students were secretly videotaped in their residence hall at Wake Forest University last year, university police have determined. At one point in their investigation, officers considered whether as many as six might have been videotaped.
The five women appear on a videotape provided to the university by Town of Chapel Hill police, who told Wake Forest officers that they found the tape among other tapes confiscated during an investigation of a man charged with peeping into a Chapel Hill sorority house. Identified as John Thomas Witt of Person County, the man was equipped with a video camera when arrested. He is free on bail.
Initially, investigators at Wake Forest left open the possibility that another woman who appears briefly on the tape might have been a student at the university. That appears unlikely now, officers said Thursday. All efforts to identify her indicate the woman is not associated with Wake Forest.
Also on Thursday, Wake Forest police said that it will be late April or early May before a determination is made regarding the filing of possible charges. Police are
consulting with Forsyth County prosecutors and the victims as the investigation continues.
The women at Wake Forest were videotaped without their knowledge in a residence hall. Hiding outside their building at night, someone held a video camera directed at students’ windows on the ground floor. Police said the taping occurred in February of 2001.
In two rooms, a total of three students were taped while changing clothes. The students had closed their window blinds at that time, but someone was still able to hold the camera in a way to tape them.
Meanwhile, Wake Forest authorities have said the case is an extraordinary one at Wake Forest. They do not recall any similar incident of someone secretly videotaping students in their campus residence.
Wake Forest police are encouraging students to completely close window blinds before dressing and to keep ground floor windows locked. As always, they are recommending anyone who observes suspicious or unusual activity on campus to immediately contact Wake Forest police.
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