Regardless of how much personal information you choose to share online, there are some parts of your life that should always remain private – or at least, that’s what you’d like to believe. You would never want to assume that someone was secretly recording your every move throughout the day, or that someone was spying on you in a sensitive location like in the bathroom or shower.
Yet this is exactly the type of occurrence that is becoming more common with each passing day, particularly as surveillance technology becomes a more ubiquitous part of our lives. One man from Licking, Missouri was recently arrested for doing exactly that. Not only had he shown a predilection for teenage girls, but he also took that fascination one step further and was using specialized cameras to record them getting into and out of the shower. It’s everybody’s worst nightmare. Sadly, in this case, it was reality.
Hidden Cameras and the Man From Licking, Missouri
Problems began for Nathaniel F. Mares, a 35-year-old man from Missouri, in December of 2017. When one of his relatives was cleaning his home, she stumbled across not one but 31 different flash drives that were clearly being stored in a location that would attract the least amount of attention possible. Suspecting that something may be amiss, that family member put one of the flash drives into her personal computer to take a look around. That’s when she discovered a surprise that would send ripples through her entire family for years to come.
Upon inspecting the contents of the flash drive, the woman was immediately greeted by a video of two teenage girls getting in and out of a shower. Upon further review, she found additional videos that clearly showed Mares placing a camera in a strategic location before recording began and collecting it again after.
The family member called the local police department, who then partnered with federal investigators to search the man’s home. On January 4, police searched Mares’ home and seized a desktop computer, an external hard drive, dozens of different flash drives and a “spy pen” video recording device.
Almost instantly, Mares was arrested and charged with producing child pornography. As of the end of January, Mares was still being held in a Greene County jail facility.
Federal prosecutors – who made it clear that they wanted Mares to be held in police custody before a trial – wrote that he had other “surreptitious” and “suspicious” video recordings in his home. Among them was a video that Mares took of a woman and her child in a local Walmart parking lot. He later followed the pair to the nearby Grove Elementary School. Another video was clearly shot at a local public pool and focused on a variety of girls – most of whom were underage – in their swimsuits.
Until recently, Mares had been employed as a corrections officer at the South Central Missouri Correctional Facility in his hometown of Licking. He was suspended from his position after the arrest and will almost certainly be fired. If convicted, he will also be forced to register as a sex offender due to the young age of many of his “subjects.”
Stories like this one are unfortunately all too common in the modern era, especially as surveillance technology itself becomes both more affordable and more effective at the same time. If you ever suspect that someone may be recording you without your knowledge, one of the first things you’ll want to do involves thoroughly examining your environment.
Think about where a camera would have to be placed in a room to both A) spy on you in a specific location like a shower, and B) go totally undetected under normal circumstances. Check those areas for small holes in the wall or in other areas. Also pay close attention to any seemingly everyday items that have recently appeared without explanation. Mares was using a camera hidden inside what appeared to be a regular pen. Cameras also exist in items like alarm clocks, smoke alarms and even USB wall chargers.