Charges were filed Friday against a previously registered sex offender suspected of mounting a small video camera inside a grocery store bathroom in Cathedral City.
Prosecutors charged Jason Pomare of Desert Hot Springs, 41, with three felony counts of possessing matter depicting a minor in a sexual act and 10 misdemeanor counts of unlawful use of a concealed camera to secretly videotape. He will be arraigned Friday afternoon at the Larson Justice Center in Indio.
Pomare — who was previously compelled to register as a sex offender in California but is no longer required — was arrested at his home Monday after a video camera was found inside a public single-occupancy bathroom at the Stater Bros. at 69244 Ramon Road earlier that day, according to the Cathedral City Police Department.
Officers determined that a “small, covert camera” had been affixed inside the bathroom, “for the purpose of illegal video monitoring (and) surveillance,” police said.
Through unspecified methods, police say they determined Pomare was responsible for the alleged crime and arrested him on suspicion of 11 felony counts of possessing child pornography, and 13 misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct involving the solicitation of a lewd act.
Police said they found evidence at Pomare’s home in the 13000 Block of Eliseo Road in Desert Hot Springs that linked him to the crime. They also said he may have placed several similar cameras in other stores and restaurants throughout the Coachella Valley “for the purpose of conducting illegal surveillance of adults and children inside public restrooms,” according to a police statement.
Police did not specify the locations of the cameras, but said the other known businesses have been notified.
According to police, Pomare was previously a registered sex offender in California for an unspecified sex crime, but is no longer required to register.
City News Service reported in 2013 that Pomare, then 33, was charged with six counts of unlawful use of a concealed camera for the purposes of sexual gratification.
Prosecutors alleged he concealed a video camera in a paper bag and entered a woman’s restroom in a Los Angeles Macy’s department store dressed as a woman and secretly videotaped women using the restroom. Los Angeles Superior Court records show he pleaded no contest to the charges and was sentenced to five years probation and 20 days in county jail.
According to court records, Pomare, who lived in Palmdale during the 2013 incident, does not have any felony convictions in Riverside County.
He is in custody in the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta, where he remains on $1 million bail.