Bellingham man accused of voyeurism makes first appearance in court
A Bellingham dentist was arrested on a felony charge Monday after a former lover alleged he made a pornographic video without her knowledge.
David John Schneider, was booked into Whatcom County Jail on suspicion of first-degree voyeurism – recording someone naked and engaged in sexual activity without their knowledge or consent, said Bellingham Police Lt. Don Almer.
Almer said the case is not connected to the more than two dozen cases of voyeurism reported over the past year at Western Washington University and in surrounding neighborhoods.
First-degree voyeurism is a class C felony. Schneider made his first court appearance Tuesday afternoon.
His bail was set at $20,000.
Schneider is affiliated with Bayview Dental, according to its website. Calls to the practice for comment were referred to Schneider’s attorney, Aaron Lukoff.
“I have a client who’s been arrested for voyeurism, but right now we have no comment,” Lukoff said over the phone Tuesday.
“A citizen reported to police that they had been inside the residence of (Schneider), whom they have been dating for approximately five months, and found computer video of the two engaged in sexual activity,” Almer said. “The citizen recalled specific details and from these details was able to confirm that the computer video was taken approximately one or two months earlier. The citizen at no time was aware that a recording was occurring and never gave consent for such a recording to occur.”
Police didn’t release the woman’s name. The Bellingham Herald doesn’t name alleged victims of sex-related crimes.
Almer said the woman took still photographs of the computer video on her cellphone camera and gave those images to police.
“Officers obtained a search warrant for the residence in question to seize the computer, but found that unknown person(s) had removed the computer from the residence within the past eight hours,” Almer said.
Almer said the search warrant was served at 3121 Eldridge Ave.
Whatcom County property records indicate that the home is owned by Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville and her husband William P. Roehl.
Almer said the address is a duplex with two separate residences.
City spokeswoman Vanessa Blackburn confirmed that Schneider is a tenant at the duplex. She said she couldn’t elaborate, because Linville didn’t want to comment on an active police investigation.
“Mayor Linville’s residence is not tied to this investigation and Mayor Linville is in no way, shape or form a suspect, person of interest or connected in any way to the incident or investigation,” Almer said.