Bellingham man accused of voyeurism makes first appearance in court
A Bellingham dentist facing voyeurism charges for allegedly making a sex tape without his lover’s knowledge was convicted of trespassing after electronically stalking a former girlfriend nearly eight years ago, court records show.
David John Schneider, 46, posted bond at 6:07 p.m. Tuesday and was released from Whatcom County Jail. Superior Court Commissioner Pamela Englett had set bail at $20,000.
Schneider, who is affiliated with Bayview Dental, was booked Monday afternoon 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.
First-degree voyeurism is a class C felony, with a penalty of up to five years in prison.
Almer said the arrest was based on allegations and evidence provided Monday by a woman he was dating, who told police she found a file in Schneider’s home computer that showed them having sex. She called Schneider to break up with him, then showed police cellphone photos she had taken of the computer screen, authorities said.
Police got a search warrant for Schneider’s home at 3121 Eldridge Ave., but the computer had been removed, police said. Almer said Wednesday that the computer hasn’t been found.
Whatcom County property records indicate that address is part of a duplex owned by Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville and her husband William P. Roehl. Almer said the mayor’s residence is not tied to the 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.
Schneider is a tenant at the duplex.
City of Bellingham spokeswoman Vanessa Blackburn said the mayor and her husband did not know about Schneider’s previous conviction.
“They used a property management company to find their tenant, and he has been at that address for about five years. David Schneider has informed them that he plans on moving,” Blackburn said Wednesday.
Whatcom County Deputy Prosecutor Evan Jones, at Schneider’s first court appearance Tuesday afternoon, detailed the woman’s allegations. Her name is part of the court record, but The Bellingham Herald doesn’t name alleged victims of sex-related crimes.
“She said she as not aware that she was being recorded and did not give her consent to being recorded naked or being recorded in a sex act,” Jones told Englett.
“She said she remembered her outfit and the circumstances that were caught on the video,” Jones said.
GPS tracking device
Jones told the court that Schneider was accused in 2010 of using an electronic device to stalk a woman who was his girlfriend at the time.
“That case resulted in a criminal trespass in the first degree conviction, that is his criminal history is that event,” Jones said. “The allegations in that case involved use of a GPS tacking device that was placed on the undercarriage of his girlfriend’s vehicle. There’s some concerning tendencies there.”
In that case, Schneider pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of first-degree trespassing and was sentenced to 365 days in jail, with 353 days suspended, a Bellingham Municipal Court official said Wednesday. He was fined $5,000 with $4,700 suspended, and placed on one year probation.
Meanwhile, no official complaint has been made against Schneider and there’s no active investigation, said an official at the state Department of Health, which handles licensing for health professionals.
DOH spokeswoman Sharon Moysiuk said no complaint was received regarding the 2010 case, and it could be a few days before there’s a record of a complaint or investigation regarding the current allegations.
According to Whatcom County District Court records, Schneider was cited for having less than 40 grams of marijuana in his possession in 2010, and for using a cellphone while driving in 2011.
The 2010 marijuana possession charge was dismissed. Schneider pleaded guilty to a deferred finding on the cellphone driving charge, and that charge was dismissed a year later, court papers indicate.