Auburn Police say a 38-year-old Auburn man poked his head under the stalls of women’s bathrooms at the Muckleshoot Casino in the early morning hours of Oct. 8 and looked at female casino employees while they were using the toilet.
On Oct. 27, nearly three weeks later, the King County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office formally charged Ezra George Nelson with one count of first-degree voyeurism.
Nelson’s bail was set at $30,000, and he has been forbidden from contacting any of the women he allegedly victimized.
Here, according to the Auburn Police Department’s Certification for Determination of Probable cause, is what happened.
Police responded to the casino at 2:38 a.m. Oct. 8 and spoke with the victim. According to documents, the woman told officers she’d gone into a women’s restroom near the gaming floor, entered a stall and closed the door.
After 3 to 5 minutes, the woman told officers, she looked down and saw a man’s face peering up at her from the stall to her left. Alarmed, she jumped up and screamed, and the man retreated, only to repeat his actions in other women’s bathrooms, according to documents.
According to documents, the first woman told police she’d had a complete, unobstructed view of the man’s face as he looked at her, and she later identified Nelson as the voyeur.
The 19-day interval between arrest and the filing of formal charges was not according to plan, said Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Charles Sergis.
In fact, Nelson had made his first court appearance on the same day he was arrested. On that occasion, however, the judge, noted proof of sexual gratification was required to hold a person for the crime of voyeurism, and failing to find it in the case as presented to him then, released the suspect without a probable cause finding. Bail was not addressed at Nelson’s first appearance because the judge released him.
At Nelson’s bail hearing on Oct. 27, the prosecuting attorney Sergis critiqued that earlier decision.
“This ruling was made despite the evidence that the defendant looked at the victim while she was sitting on the toilet by leaning under the partition of the stall in the women’s bathroom. Then he went to a different women’s bathroom and did that same thing there,” Sergis said.