Archive for Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tonganoxie man charged with eavesdropping for allegedly videotaping children

May 10, 2012

Leavenworth County authorities have charged a rural Tonganoxie man with three felony eavesdropping counts accusing him of secretly videotaping children at Paradise Mobile Home Park south of Tonganoxie.

According to Leavenworth County Attorney Todd Thompson’s office, prosecutors accuse Lawrence Martin McDonagh II, 60, of using a concealed camera to record three children, ages 15, 12 and 4, while they were nude or in a state of undress under circumstances in which the children had “a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Prosecutors allege the crimes occurred between Nov. 1 and May 2.

Thompson said McDonagh’s bond has been set at $300,000 or $150,000 with special conditions of supervision.

Leavenworth County Sheriff Dave Zoellner said McDonagh was accused of recording the children in the area without their knowledge. He said officers took a report on May 2 and began an investigation, including obtaining a search warrant for McDonagh’s residence the next day. Investigators discovered computers and related items, which prompted them to contact members of an FBI cyber crime task force to assist in the search.

Zoellner said it was still considered an ongoing investigation because officers could discover more potential victims.

Thompson said the Kansas Legislature elevated eavesdropping to a felony in 2011 based on a bill he worked on with Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence. The bill was in response to a 2008 case in which a man was convicted of a misdemeanor for using a hidden camera to record a 16-year-old girl in a bathroom at Fort Leavenworth.

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