UC Berkeley student arrested for alleged peeping in residence hall showers

Martinez_Commons
Lorenz Angelo Gonzales/File

Update 5/14/2014: This article has been updated to reflect new information from UCPD and the Berkeley jail.

After a two-month investigation, UCPD arrested a former resident of Maximino Martinez Commons — UC Berkeley student Jason Do — on Tuesday on suspicion of videotaping students while they showered.

The investigation began after a female resident reported seeing someone record her while she showered on the morning of March 14. The resident said she was showering when she looked up and saw two hands holding a cell phone above her shower stall, police said. UCPD spokesperson Lt. Eric Tejada said the suspect used a cell phone to take short video clips of the resident. After the resident screamed, police said, the suspect ran away.

After they began looking into her case, police found evidence that suggested Do had filmed several other students as well, Tejada said. Police arrested Do on six counts of peeping with electronic equipment. He was booked to the Berkeley jail Tuesday night with bail set at $30,000. His arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday at 2 p.m. in Oakland.

The incident is one of two cases of voyeurism — watching someone naked without his or her consent — reported this semester in Martinez Commons. In the second case, which occurred April 2, the same resident living on the fifth floor reported that while she was showering around 10:30 p.m., an individual entered the shower stall next to her but did not turn on the water. The resident looked up and saw a cell phone pointed at her. She screamed, and the suspect ran away. The suspect was an Asian male with a black iPhone, according to an email sent to residents by Amanda Dohse, the resident director of Martinez Commons.

Tejada said Do was a suspect in both cases.

Martinez residents were informed of both incidents through emails issued by Dohse shortly after each event was reported. Marty Takimoto, a spokesperson for Residential and Student Service Programs, said in an email that hall staff members are trained to counsel students in cases involving sexual assault or harassment.

“In past years, there have been similar peeping incidents in other residence halls so, sadly, it’s not an unfamiliar incident,” Takimoto said in an email.

In an email sent to residents Tuesday, Dohse said facilities staff are currently working on temporary security enhancements to the showers, explaining that permanent enhancements will be installed over the summer. Takimoto said a Tang Center counselor was brought in last week to help students who may have been affected by the incidents.

Judy Wu, a Martinez Commons resident, said the voyeurism has made her feel uncomfortable living in the hall. She said she tries to shower during times when there are a greater number of people in the bathroom.

“If I were to move back into a university dorm, I don’t think I would choose Martinez again,” Wu said. “I don’t feel that it’s secure.”

If charged and found guilty, Do could face a fine and up to one year in county jail.

Contact Savannah Luschei at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter @savluschei.

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  • K. Ruiz

    Look–I don’t know what you folks have been hearing about Jason, but I KNOW this guy. Jason’s a smart kid–smart enough to not pull something like this and ruin his reputation at Cal. I hope his name gets cleared soon so that we can all rest easy and start searching for whoever really was filming the ladies in Martinez Commons.

    If you know Jason personally, send him a message and let him know you have faith in his innocence. He’s going through a tough time right now, and if you’re his friend, please stand by him.

  • anon

    does anyone know why they’re only taking measures to put up security measures TWO months after the first incident occurred? and why bother putting up temporary installments now when residents are about to move out in 3 days, when permanent installments will be put up in the summer anyway? this is probably super inconvenient for students, especially during finals week

  • anon

    i don’t think it was necessary to reveal the voyeur’s name

    • Lolhai

      Shut up, Jason.

  • go bears!

    That last quote is so ignorant. It’s not the building’s fault that there were voyeurism incidents. All university dorms have had this problem, and many other places do as well.

    • Ironclad131313

      While I do agree that this problem is widespread, I can’t help but wonder if the problem is more prevalent at Cal due to its coed bathrooms. Most universities I know of have single gender bathrooms which may make it harder to peep since it is easier to get caught.

      • Deblg

        I agree. Single gender bathrooms would greatly reduce this problem. There is absolutely no reason to have coed bathrooms. My daughter lived in a dorm at Cal last year and reports that a lot more happens in coed bathrooms than peeping. As a parent, this angers me. I don’t believe the school is taking safety for young women seriously.

        • Disqus returns

          What more than peeping has happened in the coed bathrooms? That’s a traumatizing experience, and I’m really lucky that didn’t happen to my floor when I lived in the dorms last year.

          Here is the reason Maximino Martinez has coed bathrooms.

          Daily Cal article from August 24, 2012: “Because the eight bathrooms in the newly opened dorm were originally all gender-specific, some residents felt uncomfortable using a gender-designated bathroom. After the concerns were raised, six bathrooms were made coed, according to an email sent to all residents of the building. “Some people who consider themselves transgender would like the (coed) bathrooms,” said Ciera Dudley, a UC Berkeley sophomore and Martinez Commons resident.” http://www.dailycal.org/2012/08/24/bathroom-controversy-follows-opening-of-news-residence-hall/

          Also, an October 2013 Daily Cal article about a graduate student union’s negotiations: “Negotiations have stalled over the union’s demands for higher wages as well as what the university calls “social justice” demands, such as all-gender bathrooms for gender-nonconforming students.” http://www.dailycal.org/2013/10/29/graduate-students-take-labor-demands-sproul-hall/

          April 30, 2014 Daily Cal article titled “Student workers union reaches tentative agreement on gender-neutral restrooms, lactation stations”: “The University of California and a student worker union reached a tentative agreement on key contract issues, including increased access to gender-neutral bathrooms and lactation stations, in a series of bargaining sessions in April. “The UC and UC Berkeley in particular have a reputation of being really queer friendly, and the fact that we have so few gender-neutral bathrooms doesn’t support that idea about Berkeley,” said Emma Silverman, a graduate student and current head steward of the union.” http://www.dailycal.org/2014/04/30/student-workers-union-reach-tentative-agreement-access-gender-neutral-restrooms-lactation-stations/

          • Disqus returns

            Peeping incidents in April 2012:

            “Peeping incidents worry residents of UC Berkeley dormitories”
            http://www.dailycal.org/2012/04/05/peeping-incidents-worry-residents-of-uc-berkeley-dormitories/

            “UC Berkeley student arrested on suspicion of peeping”
            http://www.dailycal.org/2012/04/19/2-peeping-incidents-reported-in-same-uc-berkeley-residence-hall/

          • Deblg

            Living in a dorm with coed bathrooms created a number of privacy, sanitary, and safety issues. Often the coed bathroom shower/baths were used for “hooking up,” bathrooms shared with guys were dirtier, showering and using the toilet in the same area as guys made many women self-consious or seek out female only floors in the dorms. In reference to “Peeping incidents worry residents of UC Berkeley dormitories”http://www.dailycal.org/2012/0…, women should be able to use the bathroom in a dorm without bringing a friend along for safety issues. I feel that there should be gender designated bathrooms and coed bathrooms that reflect the population that attends Cal.

          • Disqus returns

            I completely agree. It should not be the case that the staff have to tell women that for safety reasons they have to bring a friend to use a dorm’s bathroom.

            Women should instead be in a safe environment where they can use the dorm’s bathroom by themselves without having to bring a buddy.

          • BerkeleyStudnt

            You are making a lot of assumptions. For starters, you imply that male bathrooms are “dirtier”and that women feel “self-conscious” when using the same restroom as another gender. Every individual is different. I have experienced first hand dirtier female restrooms…and as a women I personally feel completely comfortable wearing no make-up, brushing my teeth in a towel next to a male floor mate. In no way do I feel “insecure”. Gender-inclusive bathrooms have been a non-issue for most students at Cal. If anything, the bathroom has been a way for floor mates to get to know each other (the whole idea of a shared communal space/watering hole).

            However, if an individual does feel like they would prefer a gender-specific (women or men’s) restroom, for religious reasons, for example, each residence hall provides these options. There is both a designated male and designated female bathroom located in each residence hall, plus some residence halls provide the option of being completely male or female, if that is what the student prefers.

            Besides personal preference, having a gender-inclusive bathroom allows for individuals who don’t identify as male or female to feel comfortable using the restroom. I hope you can understand why this is important.

            Bottom line is, Voyeurism can happen in any shared bathroom space (gender-specific or gender-neutral). It is not always males peeping on females. To think otherwise would be naive. Women do not need to be protected anymore then men do. Anyone can be a victim.

            I understand you are just a concerned parent, but think before you jump to rash conclusions or opinions.
            Voyeurism is a serious issue and the school is clearly taking steps to address this case and prevent future incidences (the article mentions security enhancements being added to the showers).

            Also, I second the comment made earlier by “go bears!” It isn’t the nature of Martinez Commons (all residence hall bathrooms are constructed the same way and all residents are students), the problem is that some individual made the disgusting decision to peep. A building and its staff can only foresee/prevent so much.
            It’s terrible that this happened, but I’m glad the case has progressed and steps are being taken.

          • Mel Content

            However, if an individual does feel like they would prefer a gender-specific (women or men’s) restroom, for religious reasons

            If you think it’s just for “religious reasons” then you are dismissing many other valid reasons why “gender-inclusive” restrooms aren’t a great idea…

          • BerkeleyStudnt

            It’s like you intentionally cut out the part of my sentence that resolves your comment.
            I said “However, if an individual does feel like they would prefer a gender-specific (women or men’s) restroom, for religious reasons, for example, each residence hall provides these options.” Notice the “FOR EXAMPLE”

            When “for example” is used it implies that there are other reasons, but that the author was just listing one. (My 1st grade writing class thought me that.)

            However, to further clarify my statement, let me go further…

            So, why did I list only THAT example? I did it for two reasons:

            (1) Because CLEARLY based on the comment thread, some people don’t feel comfortable sharing the bathroom with individuals of other gender identifications.
            The reasons are obvious…they are based on personal convictions/feelings/comfort levels/concerns. I think you get it. It would have been unnecessary for me to elaborate any further.

            (2) By specifically listing religion as my example, I made it clear that the residential community considers and respects all aspects of a person’s identity, including their religion and culture. Not providing gender-specific options would be not only be non-inclusive, it would be discriminatory. This goes back to our fundamental liberties. I listed religion to make it more apparent that (I believe) CalHousing takes into consideration all aspects of residents’ identities… and not just to fulfill the legal obligations, but to foster a more honest, inclusive community in the residence halls.*

            *I don’t speak on behalf of Cal Housing, but I have come across these type of ideas during my extensive experience in the residence halls.
            UC Berkeley is inclusive because UC Berkeley respects every individual.
            ~Including individuals who don’t identify with one of the two dominant genders~

            This incident of voyeurism is not to be blamed on an institution trying to foster inclusivity, it should be blamed on the individual(s) who committed the crime. (And please keep in mind the concept of innocent till proven guilty out of respect for the suspect in custody and our legal system.)
            We should all just be glad that UCPD has done an excellent job addressing this.

          • Mel Content

            You can go on and on, but once again, the problem is that the common-sense, time-tested, and perfectly feasible solution (separate restrooms for males and females) has to go out the wayside to accommodate the transgender kooks, the gender-as-a-social construct crowd, and the reality challenged. If there’s a Peeping Tom or stalker problem in these unisex facilities, it’s because activists who want it their way have enabled the problem by forcing the rest of us to acquiesce with their silly demands.

          • BerkeleyStudnt

            Oh how I wish you’d gave me a little disclaimer that you were a bigot, before you wasted my time…..

          • Mel Content

            Oh how I wish you’d gave me a little disclaimer that you were a bigot

            I’m not a “bigot” whatsoever, I’m just pointing out facts that certain people in their little PC la-la-land don’t wish to hear. Separate restroom facilities for males and females is the norm, and has worked quite well. Nobody is “discriminated” against, nor does anyone have any objections except for a handful of starry-eyed romantic idealists, militant fringe types who view “gender” as some type of imposed construct of an oppressive paternalistic society, and a few confused males who think putting on women’s clothing and taking hormones will make them females. NONE of these people have the collective ability to pay for the added costs of these facilities out of their own pockets, but in their own self-centered narcissism and distorted sense of priorities, they seek to impose their way of doing things on the taxpayers, who are being forced to pay the bills for an increasing number on nonsensical things such as this. As a Cal alum AND California state resident and taxpayer, I have every right to point out how this and other absolute BS issues take money and divert attention from far more important priorities such as providing a quality education in an environment with some semblance of sanity and reason.

          • Grayson Chao

            You make me ashamed to be a Cal student. Your comments are ignorant, bigoted, and hurtful. One of those “transgender kooks” happens to be a family member of mine. I can tell just from your grossly reactionary politics that you would never have the courage to spew your hateful BS in front of him or anyone else who doesn’t look, act, and think like you. If there are only a “handful of starry-eyed romantic idealists,” an ironic charge coming from someone trumpeting their Cal affiliation, then why has the university seen fit to listen to them?

          • Mel Content

            You make me ashamed to be a Cal student. Your comments are ignorant, bigoted, and hurtful.

            Please explain, and try to do it based on facts and logic. Can you point out anything I said that is factually incorrect?

            One of those “transgender kooks” happens to be a family member of mine.

            Hopefully you are doing all you can to get that person the professional psychiatric help needed, and not pandering to his/her gender confusion in the process.

            If there are only a “handful of starry-eyed romantic idealists,” an
            ironic charge coming from someone trumpeting their Cal affiliation, then
            why has the university seen fit to listen to them?

            You left out the militant fringe types as well as the gender-confused themselves. The fact of the matter is that as with any group of extremists peddling an agenda, they have intimidated the spineless administrators (pardon my redundancy there) into acquiescing to their agenda. It’s the Politically Correct version of the squeaky wheel getting the grease, and nothing more.

          • Deblg

            I think you are the one making a lot of assumptions about me, a parent, and all students at Cal. I understand you’re comfortable with brushing your teeth in a towel next to a male floor mate but that doesn’t mean everyone is. Gender-inclusive bathrooms as a shared communal space…please…I would think there would be preferred areas to get to know your neighbors. To site religion as an example that some would like a gender specific bathroom is insulting. Of course I understand that a gender-inclusive bathroom would make some people more comfortable just as you should understand that a gender specific bathroom would also make some people more comfortable. You speak of acceptance and tolerance yet only if people agree with your position on gender-inclusive bathrooms. My comments were my opinion based on information that I received from many students living in dorms last year. Many women who lived on the coed floors would travel to the women-only floors to shower and use the bathrooms, consequently overcrowding those bathrooms. The bathrooms on the coed floors were dirtier and less kept. I will restate my position – types of bathrooms should reflect the population. You mentioned “every individual is different”…yet it appears that, by the tone of your reply, you don’t really accept those that differ from your opinion.

            I am not “naive” nor “just” a concerned parent.

          • Mel Content

            Also, an October 2013 Daily Cal article about a graduate student union’s
            negotiations: “Negotiations have stalled over the union’s demands for
            higher wages as well as what the university calls “social justice”
            demands, such as all-gender bathrooms for gender-nonconforming
            students.”

            Many of the legal problems faced by Cal as well as the whole UC system are the direct results of these naive quests for “equality”, “social justice”, etc. One would think that grad students would be brighter than average, but clearly too many of them have consumed super-sized portions of the PC kool-aid…

        • anon

          according to the resident director, she spoke to many other universities discussing this and found that more cases of voyeurism actually occur in single-gender bathrooms