INDIO (CNS) – Charges were filed today against a previously registered sex offender suspected of mounting a small video camera inside a grocery store bathroom in Cathedral City and filming people urinating.
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 is accused of videotaping 10 people — six men and four women — urinating.
Pomare 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.
According to the felony complaint, the 10 misdemeanors stem from the camera affixed inside a bathroom at the Stater Bros., while the three child pornography charges are connected to an Albertson’s in Palm Springs and an unspecified Chipotle Mexican Grill. It is unclear if cameras were involved, but the complaint said the minors were “engaging in or simulating sexual conduct.”
The defendant appeared for his scheduled arraignment today at the Larson Justice Center in Indio, but the arraignment was pushed back to Jan. 3 because he opted to hire a private attorney, court records show.
After store staff located the camera on Monday, officers responded and determined that a “small, covert camera” had been affixed inside the bathroom, “for the purpose of illegal video monitoring (and) surveillance,” police said.
They say they also found evidence at Pomare’s home in the 13000 Block of Eliseo Road in Desert Hot Springs that linked him to the crime, and that 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.
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.