David A. Church was indicted last Tuesday by a Tompkins County grand jury on 10 counts of second-degree unlawful surveillance. Church allegedly filmed female tenants of properties he owned on E. Yates Street, University Avenue and N. Cayuga Street. All of the tenants were students of Ithaca College and Cornell.
According to the charges, Church filmed the women “for his own amusement, entertainment, or profit, or for the purpose of degrading or abusing a person.” Each of the counts represents a separate tenant, according to District Attorney George Dentes.
Church was originally arrested in August after he confessed to the police that he had rigged video surveillance equipment to spy in a female tenant’s bathroom and placed other cameras in his properties. “The reason it took this long was because we wanted to wait until we had all the charges ready for presentation to the grand jury,” Dentes told The Ithaca Journal.
Dentes also told the Journal that Assistant District Attorney Gary Surdell will be prosecuting the case.
Surdell prosecuted Church in 1997 when the landlord was found guilty of aggravated harassment, for which he served a 60-day sentence. That charge came after Church threatened to distribute nude photographs of a former girlfriend.
Archived article by Freda Ready
Sun Managing Editor