UPDATE | Latest victim sought in 'up-skirt' photo crime case; Secret Service helps examine electronic evidence
By RICHARD D. OXLEY
Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer
March 8, 2013 · 2:56 PM
Bainbridge Island detectives are still looking for the latest victim of a man who allegedly took "up-skirt" photographs and video of young girls at island stores.
The Secret Service has also been called in to help analyze potential evidence in the case, a Bainbridge detective said Friday.
Angus Andrew Leger, 32, was arrested Wednesday in front of the Rite Aid on High School Road immediately after he shot a video with his cell phone under the skirt of a high school girl who was shopping inside the store.
"She looked like a freshman or a sophomore, right in that age group," said Bainbridge Island Detective Scott Weiss.
Weiss is working with school district officials to locate the girl. Weiss said she left the store while Leger was being arrested.
So far, police have notified three victims — ages 15, 17 and 22 — and their parents that Leger took video or photographs of them using his cellphone without their knowledge.
Leger is charged with two counts of voyeurism. He was witnessed at island stores taking pictures and video with his cell phone under the skirts of young girls. Leger was released on $50,000 bail Thursday.
Island police are seeking others who think they may be victims, or any other witnesses who may have seen Leger taking photographs. Weiss noted one young man caught on security cameras who may have seen Leger take a photo under a young girl's dress, but walked away without notifying anyone of the incident.
"He turned around and stared at (Leger) at Safeway, but no one called 911. We have it on video," Weiss said, further noting that it would be helpful to have such witnesses come forward to help with the case.
Detectives have seized Leger's cell phone, a thumb drive and his computer where he stored the digital videos and photographs.
Secret Service officials are assisting with the case and are examining the electronic evidence.
Detectives have also inspected Leger's work computer at Aspect Consulting where they found approximately seven photos that he emailed to himself, though, the photos may not be illegal in nature.
"They're not illegal. They were taken at Safeway, some could be from Bainbridge Bakers or Blackbird, all of younger females' rear ends with tight fitting clothing," Weiss said.
Detectives have discovered various photos of young females at island locations, many focused on tight fitting clothes such as leggings. But such photos aren't illegal.
"It's kind of creepy but those don't meet the statutes of being illegal," Weiss said. "It has to be of an intimate area an under some clothing, like a dress."
Weiss said that police do have evidence of Leger allegedly taking photos and videos of intimate areas. The case against Leger is the result of approximately two weeks' worth of surveillance.
Bainbridge police had assistance on the investigation from Suquamish and Poulsbo police, and State Patrol detectives, in addition to managers at island stores.
After the initial call about a man taking up-skirt photographs in Safeway, detectives identified Leger as a suspect.
Police then watched Leger whenever he left his work at Aspect Consulting, a Washington-based environmental consultant company that has an office on Bainbridge Island.
"We would sit on where he worked and tail him," Weiss said. "He would sometimes take a mid-morning break, but more often than not, it was a lunch period and right when the high school got out or right after work."
Weiss also said that there may have been other times such as early morning or late at night when detectives were not following him that Leger could have been taking photos and videos.
Detectives followed Leger to many island businesses, including the Town & Country, Subway and Great Clips, and also the Bainbridge Island Aquatic Center.
Leger didn't purchase anything at the stores most of the time, Weiss said.
"As soon as he got into a public place his head went left to right, and if he saw a young girl, he would focus in and follow them in the store," Weiss said. "Most of the time if he did take pictures it would be at a check-out line."
"He's tall guy. He's like 6-foot-3-inch or 6-foot-4-inch," Weiss said. "When he comes up behind these victims, he crouches down to the ground, and slides his hand under their skirt. He was pretty bold."
When detectives witnessed Leger in the act on March 6, they arrested him.
"The reason we did the surveillance is that we wanted law enforcement see him take a picture or video and immediately arrest him," Weiss said. "That way we would know there was evidence on the device he was using."
"The way things are these days, you can take pictures and send them off somewhere else," he said.
Leger did not go easily when Weiss and Officer Gary Koon approached him as he exited the Rite Aid after taking a photograph of a high school girl.
"He shoved his hands in his jacket pockets and struggled. He didn't want to be arrested," Weiss said. "We fell to the pavement and everybody fell on my elbow."
Weiss went to the hospital after the arrest to have his arm examined. Nothing was broken, but the blow from the struggle hurt considerably, Weiss said.
"He kind of pulled away from us and we kept telling him to take his hands out of his pockets and he didn't do that," Weiss said. "He didn't swing or take punches, but he didn't cooperate and didn't want to be put in handcuffs."
While detectives followed Leger for nearly two weeks, the suspect was engaged in the voyeuristic activities for much longer.
"The way he explained it was that when he started out is when he came across a pretty young girl, he would take a picture, but not up her skirt," Weiss said. "Then he graduated to under the skirts and dresses, but only when he came across them."
"The last three months or so he actively sought them out," he said.
Potential witnesses or victims can contact detectives at the Bainbridge Island Police Department at 206-842-5211.Contact Bainbridge Island Review Staff Writer Richard D. Oxley at firstname.lastname@example.org or (206) 842-6613.