Privacy invasion hits shoppers in Oregon

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By Traci Scott,

If you’ve ever been shopping in the Fred Meyer in Bend or the Wal-Mart in Eugene, you may be the victim of a peeping Tom.  A Bend man, Lorenzo Gonzalez-Mendoza, 26, was arrested after police say he secretly videotaped multiple women in local dressing rooms and bathrooms.  He is accused of trying to catch women nude or partially unclothed at stores and parks throughout Bend, including the Bend Fred Meyer store.  The suspect allegedly used a hidden camera about the size of a pen, in a backpack or other type of shoulder bag.  Police say he’d follow women around stores, putting the bag on the floor, and pointing it under their skirts.

Police say it’s possible this happened at other places, and the case may involve more victims.  There are 10 victims so far.

A search warrant has been served on the suspect’s computer. That search should give police a better idea of how long he’s allegedly been doing this, and how many alleged victims there really are.

He’s now facing one count of invasion of privacy, and eight counts of attempted invasion of privacy, all of which are misdemeanors. However, as the evidence unfolds, more charges could be filed.

And a Lane County woman is suing Wal-Mart for $1 million in federal court claiming a store employee played the role of peeping Tom.  Chystie Rios claims she was trying on clothes in March of 2008 in a dressing room at the Wal-Mart Supercenter in Eugene when store employee Robert Dale Ashby watched her through a peep-hole.
Tip of the day:  wear pants while shopping, avoid dressing rooms and consider online shopping.