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Judge sentences man who placed hidden camera in Sherwood Starbucks bathroom to one year in jail

Tualatin resident Richard Eugene Ipsen is sentenced Wednesday


by: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S DEPARTMENT - Richard Eugene IpsenA Tualatin man found guilty of numerous counts of invasion of privacy, after he placed a hidden camera inside a Sherwood Starbucks bathroom, was sentenced to one year in county jail.

Richard Eugene Ipsen, 60, was handcuffed and taken into custody shortly after Circuit Judge Eric Butterfield handed down the sentence in Washington County Circuit Court Wednesday afternoon.

Talking with reporters after the sentencing, Washington County Deputy District Attorney Zoe Smith said she was generally pleased with the sentence, which also includes five years of formal probation.

“The level of humiliation was unlike any I’ve ever seen in prosecuting,” Smith said of the victims’ feelings regarding the incident.

The case dates to May 1 when an employee at Starbucks at 20661 S.W. Roy Rogers Road discovered a motion-activated camera, disguised to look like an AC adaptor, inside the single-toilet bathroom. Starbucks employees found the camera and Sherwood police arrested Ipsen shortly after he returned to the coffee shop saying he was looking for the cell phone charger he left in the bathroom.

In a March stipulated facts trial, where the victims were not required to testify in person, Ipsen was convicted of eight counts of invasion of privacy (all Class A misdemeanors); and two counts of attempted invasion of privacy, (Class B misdemeanors).

During sentencing, Smith read statements from some of the 10 victims whose images were discovered on the camera, which was left in the bathroom over a period of five days.by: COURTESY OF SHERWOOD POLICE DEPARTMENT - Police said the hidden camera left in the Sherwood Starbucks bathroom was designed to look like an AC adapter. It was used to photograph patrons using the restroom.

“All 10 of these victims felt extremely violated by the footage,” Smith said of those who were filmed, none of whom were in court Wednesday.

“It’s frankly because they’re too afraid and too mortified to show their faces today,” said Smith.

The prosecutor read a litany of statements from some of those victims. One has been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder as a result of Ipsen’s actions, she said. Another said her memory of the violation will fade but not go away. Still another is reminded of Ipsen’s actions daily.

“Every single time we talked on the phone, she cried,” Smith said of one victim. “She cannot, to this day, use a public restroom.”

What all the victims generally agreed with was that Ipsen should serve jail time. Smith did as well, telling the judge she believed it would be a deterent to anyone who tried something similar in the future.

Ipsen, who has grown a beard and looked noticeably different from his jail mug shot, was represented by high-profile Portland criminal defense lawyer Stephen Houze.

Houze said Ipsen, who is a retired real estate broker, has been receiving therapy since July and asked he be given community service and no jail time.

The defense attorney also told the judge that Ipsen had a “compulsive and addictive” behavior not unlike being addicted to gambling or other addictions.

“They are fortunately treatable conditions,” said Houze, who argued that other than the incident, Ipsen’s “life has otherwise been unblemished.”

But Butterfield was having none of it and imposed his sentence, ruling that on the two counts of attempted invasion of privacy Ipsen would be sentenced to six months in jail for each count. While the first six months must be served with no chance of leaving the facility, the second six months come with the possibility that he might leave during the daytime hours but must return each night.

In addition to jail time, Ipsen must pay fines of $100 each on the eight counts involved and must pay a $1,435.20 bill to one victim to reimburse a health insurance company payment. He must also undergo a psycho-sexual evaluation, have no contact with the victims and cannot patronize any Starbucks coffee shops.

Houze said Ipsen would not be making a statement because he has a May 15 trial scheduled in Bend based on Bend police reportedly finding evidence of recordings of guests using the toilet and shower at a home he owned there.

As bizarre as the incident is, a similar event occurred in 2011 when a man allegedly secretly videotaped women and children using a restroom at a Glendora, Calif., Starbucks, according to a story in the Huffington Post.

Still, the case proved to be unusual for the generally quiet community of Sherwood, which in February was ranked as the No. 2 safest city in the state (tying with Wilsonville), based on a ranking by Movoto Real Estate.

Capt. Ty Hanlon, a Sherwood Police Department spokesman, said to his knowledge, Ipsen’s actions were the largest case of invasion of privacy police have investigated in the city. He praised Detective Debbie Smith for helping solve the case.

“This was quite the puzzle to put together, not only with identifying the suspect but all the victims,” said Hanlon. “If it wasn't for her tenacity as an investigator, this case had the potential to stall and go unsolved.”




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