Story by Desert Sun - Desert Hot Springs man pleads guilty to installing cameras in public restrooms
A Desert Hot Springs man who used hidden cameras to film children and adults inside public bathrooms in the Coachella Valley was released from county jail with time served after reaching a plea deal in which he was placed on five years' probation and ordered to register as a sex offender for life, prosecutors said Monday.
Jason Pomare, 42, must also complete a sex-offender management program and abide by a list of mandates, including staying 100 yards away from five businesses in the Coachella Valley where authorities say he installed cameras at some point, according to John Hall, spokesman for the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.
Pomare was arrested at his home Dec. 23, after a video camera was found earlier that day inside a single-occupancy bathroom at the Stater Bros. supermarket at 69244 Ramon Road in Cathedral City, according to police.
Pomare admitted one felony count of possessing matter depicting a minor in a sexual act, stemming from footage collected at an Albertsons supermarket on Sunrise Way in Palm Springs. Prosecutors agreed to drop two additional child pornography counts in exchange for his plea.
Under the plea deal finalized on June 2, Pomare also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of unlawfully using a concealed camera to secretly film a man urinating in the Stater Bros. bathroom in Cathedral City. Prosecutors dropped an additional 12 counts in exchange for that plea.
The criminal complaint alleged that Pomare videotaped at least six men and four women, along with an unknown number of underage victims.
Two days before Christmas, Stater Bros. staff discovered that a "small, covert camera" had been affixed inside the store's restroom "for the purpose of illegal video monitoring (and) surveillance," police said at the time.
Investigators found evidence at Pomare's home in the 13000 Block of Eliseo Road that linked him to the crime and said 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 police.
Pomare was previously required to register as a sex offender in California, but was no longer required to do so at the time of his most recent arrest, according to police.
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. In that case, prosecutors said 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. He was also required to register as a sex offender, according to a Superior Court spokeswoman, who could not confirm the length of time he was committed to register.
If you are ever concerned about cameras being used in public bathrooms, always speak to the manager of the establishment.