Prosecutor’s office: charges cannot be filed in South Bend Fire Department hidden camera case

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. – Charges cannot be filed in the case involving a hidden camera found in a women’s locker room at a South Bend Fire Department station, the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

After reviewing the investigation conducted by Indiana State Police, the prosecutor’s office determined no charges can be filed.

“There are strong indications that someone may have attempted to commit the crime of voyeurism. However, the investigation was unable to identify who had placed that recording device in the women’s locker room and uncover whether any recordings were actually made,” said Prosecuting Attorney Ken Cotter. “While we are unable to file any criminal charges, I applaud the courage of the female firefighters who stepped forward and the investigators who worked hard on this case.”

On June 1, 2021, a camera was found in the locker room, according to reports. Shortly after, Indiana State Police announced they’d be conducting an investigation into the incident.

Following the state police investigation, the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office met with the female firefighters and reviewed the investigation with them. Those firefighters gave more information, which led to further investigation.

The prosecutor’s office told the female firefighters charges could not be filed before announcing it to the public.

A city official told ABC57 that the City of South Bend Human Resources department will be launching an internal investigation into the incident. 

The city and the fire department released a joint statement, saying: 

“The City of South Bend is grateful for the work of the St. Joseph County Prosecutor’s Office and Indiana State Police to investigate this disturbing case. The City and South Bend Fire Department take seriously the commitment to ensure a safe workplace for all employees. Now that the criminal investigation has concluded, the City will work to complete its investigation to determine if any department policies were violated and will take appropriate action accordingly."

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