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Prison ordered for man who hid cameras in LDS meetinghouse bathrooms

A Magna man was sentenced to prison Monday for hiding cameras in bathrooms at LDS meetinghouses and in the homes of h...

Posted: Feb 1, 2018 6:09 AM
Updated: Feb 1, 2018 6:09 AM

A Magna man was sentenced to prison Monday for hiding cameras in bathrooms at LDS meetinghouses and in the homes of his relatives.

James Steven Larsen, 40, was ordered to serve concurrent terms of up to five years in prison for three counts of voyeurism involving a minor victim, a third-degree felony.

Larsen pleaded guilty to the charges last month as part of a deal with prosecutors. In exchange, 13 additional charges were dismissed of class A misdemeanor voyeurism involving adult victims.

Larsen used a set of keys he had to sneak in early on Sundays to two Magna meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3606 South Wing Pointe Drive and 7731 W. 3500 South, according to prosecutors. Larsen said he would hide cameras in the restrooms, then return to retrieve the cameras the next day.

After searching three memory cards and two cameras found hidden in Larsen's truck, investigators found 16 images of adults and children, according to charging documents. Larsen told police that a family member was his "target," and in addition he would "just catch whomever."

Larsen also told police he had placed cameras in bathrooms while visiting in relatives' homes, according to the charges.

Larsen's prison sentence will also run concurrently to a year in jail ordered in a separate case in St. George, where Larsen pleaded guilty to hiding cameras in a rental property he owned there.

In that case, Larsen pleaded guilty in November to one third-degree felony and one class A misdemeanor for voyeurism. During the same hearing, a prison sentence for the felony charge was suspended in lieu of the jail term for the misdemeanor offense, court documents indicate.

Police in Salt Lake County began investigating Larsen after renters in his five-bedroom luxury villa at The Ledges in St. George found two cameras concealed in an upstairs bathroom last February, the charges state.

In that case, "One camera was hidden behind the toilet and pointed toward the shower," the arresting officer wrote in a sworn statement. "The other camera was hidden behind the trash can and pointed outward towards the area someone would have to walk by in order to access the shower."

As St. George police investigated, Larsen told them of the recordings he had on SD cards stored in his truck in Magna.

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