CHARLOTTE, N.C. – A female North Carolina community college student who reported a man in the woman’s bathroom taking pictures under a stall claims campus security told her it’s “not a crime.”
Central Piedmont Community College student Catherine Barker told WBTV she was in the women’s bathroom on the first floor of the school’s Belk Building when she noticed the creep trying to take pictures of her in the stall.
“I noticed a person come through the vertical crack in the bathroom stall and then bend down, so I jumped up and went out the door and they were headed out the bathroom and I said ‘You looking for somebody?’” Barker said. “The guy started fumbling and mumbling with his phone and trying to get his phone away so I blocked him from the door so he wouldn’t get out.”
The student eventually snatched the man’s phone and took it and him to a campus security. She told WSOC the man claimed he accidentally went into the wrong bathroom, but she’s not buying it.
“Humans have their right to their privacy, and I as a human, was violated by a man,” she said.
But when Barker reported the incident to campus security officers, she claims they didn’t take her seriously, and one officer remarked that the bathroom is where “all the pretty girls go,” according to the news site.
Campus security briefly looked through the pictures on the man’s phone and social media accounts and did not find any evidence from the bathroom, so they let him go on his merry way.
“They said that there’s no proof that he has any picture so they can’t do anything to him,” Barker said.
According to WBTV:
Under North Carolina law, it is criminal trespassing for a man to be in a women’s bathroom. That point was highlighted last week by Republican lawmakers in the debate over whether to repeal House Bill 2. During that debate, lawmakers pointed to a number of laws that sought to protect women from encountering men in multiple-occupancy bathrooms.
But an incident report provided by CPCC Security shows the incident was classified as a “Student code of conduct violation,” not as a violation of any law.
The news site demanded to view the college’s daily security log, which it’s required by federal law to maintain, but CPCC security refused. When the WBTV reporter pointed out that The Clery Act requires college officials to produce the crime log upon request, for any reason, they offered up a sheet of paper with the date and one sentence: No data for daily crime log.
Student Press Law Center Executive Director Frank LoMonte told the news site that CPCC security were required by the federal law to record the incident.
“Any time you have a campus security agency that’s called to respond to somebody reporting criminal activity, that’s got to show up in the crime log,” he said. “At the very least, the public’s entitled to know what happened, where it happened and when it happened.”
CCPC spokesperson Jeff Lowrance denied that campus security violated federal laws by failing to report the incident in the daily crime log, and issued a prepared statement alleging the school is looking into the matter more thoroughly.
“The incident in question remains under investigation by the college,” Lowrance alleged. “The college will continue discussions with the students involved as part of the ongoing investigation.”
In the meantime, Barker is working to contact college administrators about safety on campus, in hopes that she can prevent a similar situation from happening to other students.
“Now, I will look over my shoulder more than I already do now,” Barker told WSOC. “It will happen again because he didn’t get in trouble.”