An pastor is facing a voyeurism charge after allegedly placing hidden cameras disguised as air fresheners in the women’s bathroom of the Indiana church he has headed for the last decade.
55-year-old Robert Lyzenga was arrested last week by the Tippecanoe County Police Department on the felony count. He was freed from custody after posting $5000 bond.
The voyeurism investigation started last month when police were dispatched to the Sunrise Christian Reform Church, where a woman reported that an air freshener had fallen off the door inside a stall.
“The back of the air freshener had come off, and she saw there was a camera inside,” cops reported in an affidavit filed in support of a court application to search Lyzenga’s home and church office.
After discovering the hidden camera, the woman checked a second stall and found another air freshener containing a hidden camera.
A third stall “also had an air freshener inside the door, but no camera was in that one.”
An examination of the devices revealed that “the three air fresheners were not really air fresheners. They are plastic rectangular boxes, and two of them had been modified to hold the cameras which were discovered inside,” Detective Robert Goldsmith reported. All three boxes “had stickers on them with ‘Glade Air-o-matic’ on the stickers,” which appeared to be homemade.
A review of memory cards removed from the purported air fresheners showed that they contained footage of two adult women and a female juvenile “using the restroom.”
A church worker told cops the air fresheners first appeared in the stalls in February, raising the possibility that many other women were videotaped (and the footage was downloaded from the hidden cameras).
The examination of one memory card showed a “brief video recording in an office area” at the point where the hidden camera was picked up, turned on, and apparently placed inside the plastic box. In an effort to match up the video with a specific area, cops last Wednesday returned to the church, where they told Lyzenga that they wanted to take a look around the building.
Lyzenga showed them around to several offices, but officers made no matches. That is when Goldsmith “asked about Lyzenga’s office,” according to the affidavit.
Goldsmith “noticed Lyzenga was very nervous” as he accompanied the investigator into the space.
The pastor’s office, Goldsmith reported, appeared identical to the office seen on one of the videos (down to a Superman mouse pad on the desk).
Lyzenga was subsequently arrested in connection with the surreptitious bathroom filming.
Married for 30 years, the father of three was fired from his pastor’s post immediately following his May 10 arrest.