NORTHFIELD, Ill. (CBS) — The school custodian accused of putting cameras in bathrooms was still on the run Tuesday night.
But meanwhile, for the first time, the Northfield School Board and attorneys combed through just what happened at the Sunset Ridge School.
As CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported, the meeting at the school was held behind closed doors. But we know the board was looking into current practices – and what can change – because the man police said is behind the bathroom camera incidents never should have made it into the school in the first place.
David Garica-Espinal started working at Sunset Ridge in 2015. But the school was not the first place he committed a crime, nor the first time he brought a camera into a bathroom.
We know a background check that was done by outside vendors failed to flag Garcia-Espinal’s felony conviction for identity fraud in 2012.
And it missed more than that.
There was an incident in 2010 when Garcia-Espinal was found taking pictures of women going to the bathroom in a Northbrook movie theater. And in 2012, he admitted to Glenview police he had entered the women’s restroom at another theater at least twice to masturbate.
With the school board meeting with district attorneys to talk about their internal investigation tonight, CBS 2 brought the latest to criminologist and Loyola University Professor Arthur Lurigio.
“This is a sexual victimization,” Lurigio said.
With a solid gap between Garcia-Espinal’s last crime on record – 2013 – to last month, is there a chance the bathroom incident discovered isn’t the first of its kind?
Lurigio said yes.
“In my expert opinion, it’s more likely than not that this behavior has been repetitive, and that there have been numerous victims who’ve had their expectation of privacy violated,” he said.
He calls the behavior, and the crime, compulsive.
We’re told there were only a couple parents who came to the meeting at Sunset Ridge School for the public comment period. No one at the meeting ahead of closed session wanted to go on camera.