OSU employee arraigned for filming in library bathroom

Vada Shelby, News Contributor

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include Andres Lazaro Lopez’s middle name for identification purposes.

On Jan. 14, an Oregon State University employee was arraigned on one felony charge of the first-degree invasion of privacy and two misdemeanor charges of second-degree invasion of privacy. 

Andres Lazaro Lopez was arrested after allegedly making a small hole in a men’s bathroom stall in the Valley Library and filming a man in the stall without consent, after meeting him there in a cruising situation. He has plead not guilty to all charges.

According to Attorney Josh Hunking, Lopez’s representative, the case is more complicated and delicate than may appear at first glance. The incident allegedly involved gay cruising, which is defined as seeking a public place for sexual acts, and carrying out those acts, without being caught.

Lopez had allegedly been secretly using the camera in the library bathroom as a method of cruising leading up to this incident. Multiple Facebook pages, blog sites and news articles have referenced The Valley Library’s sixth floor bathroom as a frequented place for cruising.

Chief of Public Safety Suzy Tannenbaum said OSU has not seen an incident like this in the years that she has been here on campus.

“When crimes like this are reported, Oregon State Police troopers respond and investigate,” Tannenbaum said, via email. “In response and as needed, campus safety officers and OSP troopers conduct additional safety patrols.” 

The Department of Public Safety collaborates with building managers and other OSU staff members to make extra plans and protocols to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future. In cases like this one, the extra protocols could be checking surrounding buildings for hidden cameras while searching and securing the public bathrooms. 

“When the report of this crime occurred, DPS and other partners conducted a security evaluation of other areas and bathrooms on campus and mitigation measures were taken to prevent other cases of this occurring,” Tannenbaum said, “OSU is among the nation’s safest campuses and we constantly work to improve our public safety efforts.”

The Valley Library has had incidents similar to this happen before and aims to address them quickly. The library bathrooms have now been checked for holes in the walls, and all that were found have been filled.  

Because of the locations chosen for cruising around Corvallis, some OSU students have noticed it on campus. An example of potential cruising could be witnessing two people going into a single-user restroom. 

First-year physics major Kirsya Morris said she’s noticed situations that seem to be cruising on campus before. She doesn’t see much of a problem with cruising itself, but the problems begin when any part of the cruising is nonconsensual. 

Hunking says he has worked on cases similar to this and it will be hard to tell how long the case may be active. Cases like this are complex, and according to Hunking, it could take anywhere from a month to multiple years to resolve.

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