West Chester student arrested for allegedly recording women in bathrooms on cellphone

Jim Melwert
October 30, 2018 - 12:41 pm
Joshua Yannuzzi

Chester County District Attorney's Office

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WEST CHESTER, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A Chester County man is facing serious charges after his phone was found taped under a sink in a bathroom at West Chester University, which was recording while pointed at the toilet. 

Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said 24-year-old Joshua Yannuzzi is facing dozens of felony wiretap violations along with criminal use of a communication facility.

"That phone had been taped into a hidden place in the bathroom so that it would catch anybody who was using the bathroom," said Hogan. "It’s not just that this is a crime, this is depraved activity. This is an incredible invasion of privacy by this defendant into these young women’s lives."

Yannuzzi was caught lurking outside the unisex bathroom on campus when a woman noticed a hidden phone. When investigators downloaded his phone, the criminal complaint says they found videos of more than 90 people in at least 10 different bathrooms.

Videos were also recovered from places where women would change clothes, like dressing rooms or backstage at theatrical productions.

"We have identified over 20 victims to date, however there are still a number of victims that need to be identified," added Hogan, noting other victims were recorded at West Chester University's theater; Footlighters Theater in Berwyn; Genesius Theatre in Reading; Street Lamp Productions theater in Rising Sun, Maryland; and within private homes in Maryland, Delaware, and Pennsylvania.

"West Chester University takes the safety of students, faculty, and staff very seriously," said West Chester University spokeswoman Nancy Gainer in a statement. "The investigation has been conducted in a manner to protect the privacy of those involved. The university applauds the WCU student who came forward and took swift action in reporting the invasion of privacy."

"Anybody who knew (Yannuzzi), was involved in theater with him, was staying at a beach house with him: You are a potential victim," said Hogan.

The complaint says — in addition to what’s described as a general interest in "bathroom voyeurism" — Yannuzzi, who was a theater major, told police he estimated he had taken hidden videos about 30 to 50 times.