A California man who worked as a janitor at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Salinas was arrested by police on Friday, and booked in Monterey County Jail, after it was discovered that he had been allegedly recording unsuspecting women with a video camera that was mounted to a hidden location in the women’s restroom.
Daniel Murguia, 60, was booked on charges of disorderly conduct stemming from other unrelated charges, according to local Fox News affiliate KSWB 8. Murguia has yet to be charged in this case.
“No one ever had any suspicions, he’s been a loved member of our congregation, San Pablo and St. Paul, and has worked here for many years,” Reverend Jim Ezell said of Daniel Murguia, according to local Fox News affiliate KSWB 8.
The camera was discovered by a female congregant after it had fallen on the floor in one of the women’s restrooms.
Murguia, 60, immediately claimed ownership of the camera when approached by church staff and said that “he had a problem that he couldn’t control himself or stop himself,” said Rev. Ezell. He had apparently placed the camera in several of the church’s women’s bathrooms in order to record the women, said Salinas police commander Henry Gomez.
Investigators reportedly discovered at least 20 instances when women were unknowingly recorded at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on Pajaro Drive, notes KSWB 8. Other electronic devices have also been seized from Murguia’s home and are being investigated for evidence.
The church has stated that they intend to tighten their background checks on employees as a result of this incident.
Rev. Ezell said the church will provide counseling for the victims involved once they are identified, based on the camera recordings. In the meantime, he said “We need to pray, hold each other in prayer, and pray for one another. And we need to…seek that path of healing as a congregation.”