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Man sentenced for sex crimes after he hid camera in teenaged girls room

Crime Watch

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Eric Kidman | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — A 23-year-old man will spend time in prison after admitting to secretly recording a teen girl and looking at child pornography.

Eric Kidman, of Idaho Falls, was sentenced Wednesday to up to 24 years in prison. He received four years fixed with 20 indeterminate after pleading guilty to child sex abuse by making a photographic or electronic recording. He will also be required to pay a $2,000 fine.

Police arrested Kidman in July after a 13-year-old girl found a small camera hidden in a potted plant.

The victim showed the camera to Kidman and his then-wife, the victim told investigators Kidman removed the memory card and told her that the camera was probably nothing and that she should just throw it away. Kidman’s then-wife told the girl to show it to her parents, who then notified authorities, according to court documents.

RELATED: Man arrested after camera found in teenage girl’s bedroom

When officers questioned Kidman about the whereabouts of the memory card, he told them that he lost it. He said he put it on his nightstand while trying to get his infant child to sleep. He said when he went back to get it, he couldn’t find it. Officers searched the room but were unable to locate the memory card.

The following day Kidman called officers from Eastern Idaho Regional Medical asking to speak to law enforcement.

Kidman told officers he wanted to tell them everything about the “dumb decision” he made the previous night, according to court documents. He told investigators the girls family had figured out it was him who had placed the camera into the potted plant in an attempt to record the girl without clothes on. Kidman told police jail he would rather go to jail than to face the victim or her family.

He also told officers this was his first time doing anything like this. However, after a tip from the family to search his computer, investigators found an explicit video of the victim in her room. The camera appeared to be on a shelf with the girl’s stuffed animals, not in the potted plant.

His then-wife told investigators she had discovered some disturbing things in Kidman’s internet search history. According to documents, investigators found “7 ways cops will bust you on the dark web,” “bathroom spy cam landlord escapes jail term” and “sentence for spying in the bathroom.”

They noted the search history had been deleted not long before those searches were made. The computer and other electronic devices were turned over to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for forensic examination.

After an examination of the electronic devices, forensic examinators found hundreds of images and videos of graphic and in several cases violent child pornography. Documents say the child pornography depict minors ranging from infants to postpubescent teens.

In a recorded phone call from the jail between Kidman and his then-wife, Kidman admitted to accessing pornography involving children as young as 13-years-old.

RELATED: Man who videoed 13-year-old with spy-cam found with hundreds of images of child-porn, police say

Bonneville County Chief Deputy Prosecutor John Dewey told Kidman was not charged with production of child pornography for filming the girl because the production of child pornography charge requires there be sexual activity in the video or images. He said in the video’s Kidman took of the girl she was simply changing her clothes, which does not constitute child pornography.

Kidman was charged with five counts of sexual exploitation of a child for the possession of child pornography. As apart of pleading guilty in both cases, four of the sexual exploitation charges were dropped.

For the sexual exploitation charge, Kidman was sentenced to four years fixed and six indeterminate to run concurrently with the sentence for recording the girl.