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Update: Davenport West teacher arrested, charged with illegally recording women in his home

Update: Davenport West teacher arrested, charged with illegally recording women in his home


A Davenport West High School teacher was arrested Friday morning and is charged with secretly recording videos of women in his Bettendorf home over the course of the last two months.

Clinton Randolph Van Fossen, 58, is charged with five counts of invasion of privacy and one count each of electronic and mechanical eavesdropping and obstructing justice.

Police said the offenses took place in December and early January.

The invasion-of-privacy and obstructing of justice charges, aggravated misdemeanors under Iowa law, carry a two-year prison sentence.  

The eavesdropping charge is a serious misdemeanor that carries a jail sentence of up to one year. 

Davenport Community School District spokesman Mike Vondran said Friday when Bettendorf Police alerted the district that Van Fossen was under investigation he was placed on administrative leave with pay. That status had not changed as of Friday.

According to the arrest affidavit filed by Bettendorf Police Detective Jeff Buckles, the charges are for actions committed between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4. 

The tip came from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where it was alleged a teenage victim was being filmed while nude and that it likely was occurring without the victim's knowledge. 

Bettendorf Police Chief Keith Kimball said as of Friday there does not appear to be any minor victims. 

Bettendorf police searched Van Fossen's home on Jan. 7 and seized two spy cameras from a bedroom and from a hallway. Van Fossen at the time denied any knowledge of the cameras. 

However, police saw video footage from October that showed Van Fossen with his cell phone looking in the direction of the camera and then manually adjusting the camera's direction. 

The video footage is commonly accessed using an app on a cell phone. 

Hours after being notified that a cyber tip had claimed there were cameras in his home, Van Fossen purchased a new cell phone. His old cell phone could not be located by police, and they believe he destroyed it to prevent the discovery of evidence on the phone. 

Investigators viewing the video footage confirmed that guests who stayed in the bedroom between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4 were recorded in some states of nudity and that the camera also had recorded their conversations. 

The victims told police they did not know they were being recorded nor had they given permission to be recorded. 

Each of the five counts of invasion of privacy is for recordings on five different occasions between Dec. 26 and Jan. 4. 

Van Fossen was being held Friday night in the Scott County Jail on a $10,000 cash-only bond. 

Van Fossen was arrested in 2006 and charged with indecent exposure. He was accused of exposing himself while driving in his car. He was found not guilty.

Kimball said that this is an ongoing investigation. 

Bettendorf Police Detective Jeff Buckles asks anyone with information about the case to call 563-344-4039. 


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