STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – Law enforcement personnel at Penn State University arrested a man accused of video recording women who were showering in a dorm at the college earlier this month.
Xinyu Li, 24, was identified as the defendant and is charged with two counts of criminal trespassing and two counts of invasion of privacy by viewing or photographing a person without consent. Authorities say he snuck into a Penn State dorm and recorded two women using the dorm’s showers, according to Centre County records, the New York Post reported.
On Oct. 7 at about 8:26 p.m., the first female victim was showering on the third floor of Hamilton Hall. As she showered, she noticed a person standing next to the stall she occupied before suddenly noticing “a cell phone above the top of a shower stall,” according to a criminal affidavit from the Penn State University Police and Public Safety.
“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,” according to the complaint.
On Oct. 14 at about 9:30 p.m., a second female victim was showering on the third floor of Hamilton Hall when she noticed a phone poking out from the bottom of the stall she was in. She believes the recording device was “under the stall wall for a few seconds” before the suspect fled.
In both instances, surveillance cameras captured the suspect entering Hamilton Hall and provided a thorough description of the clothing worn by the perpetrator.
One victim was showering in a Penn State dorm when she noticed a cell phone was recording her. (Google Maps)
Surveillance cameras also captured the suspect leaving the dorm through the building’s loading dock before he entered a maroon pickup truck.
As police investigated the crimes, they canvassed the area and noticed a truck matching the description of the suspect vehicle in the parking lot of an apartment complex on Toftrees Avenue. The truck registered to a business 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 police affidavit reads.
Li was positively identified as the suspect and was taken into custody on Oct. 20, the New York Post reported.
“Li admitted to taking videos of both victims on the 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 in the report.
A second victim was showering in a dorm when she noticed a phone poking out from the bottom of the stall she was in. (Google Maps)
Li’s phone was searched by a Penn State Police investigator who discovered five videos of naked victims showering in Hamilton Hall.
The videos were found in an app “disguised as a calculator” in order to “prevent detection of videos,” police said in the affidavit.
Penn State spokesperson Jacqueline Sheader 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,” Sheader said. “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 — are important to help to keep our campus safe.”