A Pastor from a Lafayette church was sentenced on Friday after he admitted to setting up hidden CCTV cameras in the woman’s restroom at the church where he resided.
Following an investigation in May, Robert Lyzenga admitted he had installed the covert cameras in the restroom some time in 2011, and watched footage from them, having caught at least five woman and five younger girls on film.
The Pastor from the Sunrise Christian Reformed Church, aged 58, pleaded guilty to the charges against him.
The revelation came when one of the church’s parishioners accidentally found the cameras, which were cleverly disguised as air fresheners. Investigators were then able to download video footage from the hidden cameras and locate the files on the Pastor’s computer.
As well as viewing the videos, Lyzenga also allegedly edited some of them including one of a 16-year-old girl which includes slow-motion replay showing her exposed pubic area. There were also still images of woman and girls found on his computer.
Indystar.com reported that investigators had also noted that Lyzenga was meticulous in re-positioning the hidden cameras a number of times. Some footage was of the woman outside the restroom walls while other scenes were recorded from the ceiling looking down directly into the stalls.
Even though the Pastor admitted his crime and pleaded guilty, he claimed that he never intended to record children despite the fact he had downloaded and viewed the footage of them as well.
As a result of being caught, Lyzenga resigned his position and a tenth of the congregation left in favor of a new congregation.
In his sentencing, Judge Randy Williams of Tippecanoe Superior Court 1 determined that, due to the young age of the victims and the repetitive nature of the offenses, there were more aggravating factors than mitigating circumstances.
The judge could have sentenced Lyzenga to a maximum of 10 years behind bars, but decided to hand down a seven-year sentence; four years in prison and three years on probation.