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18-year-old who used ‘spy camera’ in bathroom placed on rider program

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls teen who used a spy camera to take naked photos of girls in a bathroom has been sentenced.

Curtis Asa Petersen, 18, was placed on a rider program on Oct. 27, after pleading guilty to felony video voyeurism. Court records show Petersen was 17 years old when he committed the crimes, but he was charged and sentenced when he became an adult.

As part of a plea agreement made with Bonneville County prosecutors, a second video voyeurism charge and a possession of child pornography charge was dismissed. Asa also pleaded guilty as part of the plea agreement to an unrelated grand theft charge stemming from shoplifting.

When handing down the sentence, District Judge Bruce Pickett, gave an underlying three to five-year sentence for the voyeurism charge and a three to 10-year sentence on the grand theft charge.

A rider program is when a judge sends a person to prison for up to a year to undergo different treatment programs. When the inmate has completed the program, the judge can then decide to send them back to prison or release them on probation.

RELATED | Teen charged as adult for voyeurism and child pornography

The Internet Crimes Against Children Taskforce began investigating Petersen in January after he tried to trade a pair of Apple AirPods for naked pictures of a girl. According to court documents, Petersen not only tried to obtain sexually explicit photos but he is alleged to have grabbed her buttocks and told her “he wanted to do things to her.”

Peterson reportedly told investigators when he tried to trade the AirPods for explicit photos, the girl declined.

The Taskforce searched Petersen’s home and they interrogated him. Petersen said he purchased a USB charger “spy camera” on to record girls in a bathroom. Petersen also told investigators he got a link to download images of child pornography from someone on the messaging app KIK, according to court documents.

Investigators searching Petersen’s home found a thumb drive in his bedroom with 343 images of child pornography. Court documents describe in graphic detail several videos of adults sexually abusing children as young as three. There were also several videos of a naked girl and woman inside the bathroom of an Idaho Falls home.

Similar videos of the teen and woman were found on the spy camera’s storage device, according to investigators.

Court records show in addition to the sentence, Petersen was ordered to pay $2,991 in fees and fines.