A former Chapman University media services employee was sentenced Friday to about four years behind bars for placing a concealed camera in his bathroom to videotape caregivers and classmates of his mentally disabled adult daughter without their knowledge.
David Russell Lowe, 57, of Brea was convicted Sept. 24 of one felony count of possession of child pornography and 12 misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct for using a concealed camera to secretly videotape a victim.
Lowe was sentenced to two years in prison and 720 days in jail. He was given credit for 138 days already served and was ordered to register as a sex offender.
He lost his job at Chapman University in July 2015 when he was found to have pornography on his work computer, including photos from the university’s unofficial “undie run,” which students organize annually as a way to blow off steam following exams, according to court papers.
Brea police found in his home a “large volume of pornographic material depicting minors in sexually explicit videos and in photos,” according to a trial brief prepared by Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Duke.
There were 11 victims, including his disabled daughter, Duke said in a sentencing brief.
“The defendant accepts no responsibility for his crimes; rather, he continues to blame his disabled daughter and his ex-wife for his crimes,” Duke said in the sentencing motion in which she argued for nine years behind bars.
“Defendant lacks remorse as he continues to deny any culpability,” Duke said, adding that his “conduct is especially egregious as he willingly victimized his particularly vulnerable disabled daughter and her underaged disabled friends.”
His daughter has the mental capacity of an 18-month-old to a 5- to 6-year-old, Duke said.
Lowe was also “an employer of many of his victims and the boyfriend of one victim,” Duke said.
Lowe’s attorney, Jacqueline Goodman, argued in court papers that her client “prefers older women, as shown by his long-term relationship with his girlfriend… and by the results of the psychosexual testing” that indicated he is not a “sexual deviant.”
A caretaker observed the defendant’s daughter on her father’s computer July 30, 2015, viewing an illicit video of someone using the bathroom, Duke said. The caretaker then checked the bathroom, found the hidden camera in a digital clock and took it to police, the prosecutor said.
In interviews with police, Lowe suggested that his daughter or his son, who was in the military at the time, may have created the videos. He also attempted to blame his ex-wife as the “true perpetrator,” and also suggested one of his neighbors hacked his Wi-Fi system, Duke said.
Lowe told caretakers to show his daughter how to put on a bra and to take her swimming, Duke said. He questioned one caretaker who did not bring a bathing suit as he had directed, she said.
He also planted one of the concealed cameras in the bathroom of a teacher’s aide May 22, 2015, and got videos of his daughter’s classmates, some of whom were underage, Duke said.
He also secretly recorded himself having sex with his fiancee, she said.
Lowe worked at Chapman from January 2005 through July 2015 as a media technician. Police found 65 active and 113 deleted pornographic images on his work laptop, and 20 active and 25 deleted pornographic images on his external hard drive, Duke said.
He showed one co-worker photos from the undie run, Duke said, and also “received suggestive and naked photos of a young co-worker and solicited the company of young co-eds via his work computer email.”