A former pastor from Lafayette, Indiana, was sentenced to four years in prison followed by three years of probation for secretly videotaping female parishioners in the women’s restroom of his church, reports the IndyStar.
Robert Lyzenga, 58, pleaded guilty to secretly filming five women and five girls over the course of several months in 2011 and 2012 at the Sunrise Christian Reformed Church.
Lyzenga’s youngest victim was five years old.
According to authorities, Lyzenga hid two cameras disguised as air fresheners in the restroom which were discovered by one of the church’s parishioners. Investigators recovered video footage on the devices, located files on Lyzenga’s computers, and still images taken from the footage.
According to Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Pat Harrington, Lyzenga had edited some of the videos including video of a 16-year-old girl in “slow-motion replays showing her exposed pubic area.”
Authorities also noted that the cameras had been repositioned multiple times to film at different angles, with one mounted in the ceiling pointing down into a bathroom stall.
Lyzenga admitted to installing the cameras and pleaded guilty but told the court that he never intended to record children, although he continued to film after viewing footage of minors.
Judge Randy Williams of Tippecanoe Superior Court considered Lyzenga’s position of trust within the church, the age of the victims, and repetitive nature of the offenses when handing down Lyzenga’s seven-year sentence.
Lyzenga could have been sentenced to a maximum of 10 years and minimum of two years.
Following his incarceration, Lyzenga will be listed as a sex offender.