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Botetourt man found guilty of filming young adults in bathroom at house party

Botetourt man found guilty of filming young adults in bathroom at house party

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FINCASTLE — A Botetourt County man was found guilty after a trial Thursday in Botetourt County Circuit Court for unlawfully filming young adults in a state of undress.

David Blair DeHaven, 50, was found guilty on three counts of unlawfully filming or photographing a non-consenting person. He also was found guilty on four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

DeHaven will be sentenced Oct. 22.

The charges stem from a party hosted by DeHaven’s son at their home on March 22, 2019. A teenager who attended the party found a small camera disguised as a USB phone charger in the bathroom. According to her testimony, she took the device home to her parents and they found videos stored on a micro SD card in the camera.

On the videos, six people were filmed using the restroom, three who were under 18 years old and three who were 18 years old or older. The young woman’s family told DeHaven about the videos the following day, but decided not to alert authorities because they were unsure if the camera had been left in the bathroom by accident.

They also said they worried about the effect on the teenagers and DeHaven, who is well-known in the Botetourt County community, according to testimony from witnesses. He was a former PTA president, a Liberty University Online adjunct faculty member and ran his own coaching and strategy consulting firm.

Eventually, two other women captured on the film were informed of the incident and went to the sheriff’s office in mid-May. The video and the camera were then turned over to authorities.

Multiple witnesses, including DeHaven, said he had more than one of the USB-style cameras, which also doubled as phone chargers, in his house — one in the living room, one in the kitchen and one in the basement.

The basement camera was first placed in the main room, but was eventually moved to the bathroom. DeHaven said he charged his phone in the basement bathroom because it was the only room that received cellphone service. He said he often worked from an office in the basement.

DeHaven said the camera was also used to film the maids to ensure they were properly cleaning the bathroom. The cameras were moved if anyone came over, but DeHaven said he was not aware his son planned to host a party that evening. DeHaven said he had been filmed in the restroom before and the videos never showed any nudity.

Circuit Court Judge Joel Branscom dismissed three felony charges of unlawfully filming minors after reviewing the video footage because there was no nudity captured. The other three people captured on film were all 18 years old or older, and were partially nude or undressed in the videos.

Defense attorney Ronnie Clay argued that commonwealth’s attorney John Alexander failed to prove DeHaven knowingly and intentionally filmed the young adults at the party to capture images of them nude or undressed.

But Branscom ruled that because DeHaven installed the camera to film the maid, a non-consenting adult, he did intend to capture videos in the bathroom. He said the prosecutors did not have to prove that DeHaven had perverse intentions, which Branscom said he did not believe was true, but the spirit of the law is to criminalize the filming of people in bathrooms, locker rooms and fitting rooms.

The camera, which was knowingly placed in the bathroom, caught someone in a state of undress at least three times, which constituted a crime, Branscom said.

DeHaven was also found guilty on four counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Multiple people at the party testified that DeHaven saw the high school students drinking and did not stop them or the party. In his testimony, DeHaven denied seeing any alcohol that night.

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Alison Graham covers Roanoke County and Salem news. She’s originally from Indianapolis and a graduate of Indiana University.

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