Ysrael Bien, an Oregon priest on the run, has been accused of installing a hidden camera within the wall socket of a men's restroom at the St. Francis Catholic Church in Sherwood, Oregon, where he worked.
The Philippine native has reportedly gone back to his home country, with a spokesman for the church stating that there was no way they could have prevented him from traveling.
"The church has no ability to confiscate a priest's passport," said spokesman David Renshaw in comments reported by Opposing Views. "We are not a law enforcement agency and do not have the authority to take such a document."
The church had suspended Ysrael Bien from leadership duties in June, and police believe he left the country shortly thereafter on June 30.
The hidden camera he allegedly hid in the men's restroom was discovered by a 15-year-old boy. Police speculate that if they are able to extradite Bien from the Philippines, he will face misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy, tampering with evidence, and initiating a false police report, the Oregonian notes.
Surprisingly, this isn't the first time that the Inquisitr has brought you the story of someone trying this very thing, but only in a men's public restroom.
In fact, as recently as this month, there was the story about a hidden camera at a Starbucks in California.
When a woman stopped into a Brea Starbucks to use its unisex, single-user bathroom, she spotted a blinking blue light in a bracket underneath a shelf, NBC Los Angeles reported.
As it turns out, that blinking light was a hidden camera about the size of a marker. The anonymous woman removed it using paper towels to preserve fingerprints. Then, police went on the hunt for the person who tacked it there.
"It was aimed right at the toilet, so he would get people undressing to use the bathroom," said Lt. Darrin Devereux.
At least seven people, men and women both, are known to have been captured on the hidden camera so far. Officials are combing the perpetrator's seized electronics to find more victims.
The peeping tom who admitted to placing the device in the Starbucks bathroom is Melcher Carrilloalvarado, 44 (whose name was alternately spelled Melchor Carrillo Alvarado).
What do you think, readers? Should people like this and Ysrael Bien be held accountable with felony charges, or is a misdemeanor enough? Sound off in the comments section.
[Image via OregonLive]