VANCOUVER, Wash. (KOIN) — A Vancouver Public Schools employee accused of videotaping female students in an Alki Middle School locker room was arrested on Thursday, according to the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
James D. Mattson, 38, was booked in the Clark County Jail and charged with 137 counts of first-degree voyeurism. According to the Alki Middle School directory, there is a “James Mattson” listed as a custodian.
Officials say the initial findings all stemmed from videos taken in the female staff bathrooms at Skyview High School and date as far back as 2013.
“The videos that they saw that led them to this investigation, that was alerted initially, that’s where they thought the concern was, at Alki. This piece that they were able to find, they were able to identify that it came from specific staff restrooms at Skyview,” said Sgt. Chris Skidmore with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.
A search warrant obtained by KOIN 6 shows Mattson’s live-in girlfriend was the first to report the tapes. According to her, after Mattison left for work as the custodian at Alki Middle School, she walked by the computer room and noticed his computer was open. After going through his files she “found a video that was clearly an underage child getting dressed in a locker room. The child was in their underpants and bra and was putting on pants. The video appeared to be on a hidden camera.”
None of the victims have been identified, but the sheriff’s office says that detectives will work with Vancouver Public Schools to identify those involved.
Brad Boyer, who has an 8th-grade daughter that attends Alki, is glad there was an arrest, but is left to wonder how police will identify and notify victims.
“Do the police have to look at that with school people to find out?” Boyer asked. “Do the kids do it? I don’t really know what the procedures for that, which is a little troubling because then it feels like potentially a violation yet again by other adults.”
As a father of several young children himself, Skidmore said he empathizes with parents’ concerns.
“It’s something that you just don’t expect, especially a school employee, a place where you send your kids and should feel safe about sending your kids there,” he said. “And I’m not familiar with another case where it maybe has the potential to be as big as this one.”
CCSO says that charges could be added as the investigation continues.