ASU Student Shot Video of Women in Restroom Stalls, Police Say

ASU police say an international student shot video and photos of women using the restroom at the Education Lecture Hall.EXPAND
ASU police say an international student shot video and photos of women using the restroom at the Education Lecture Hall.
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An Arizona State University student shot video and photos of at least six women using a restroom at ASU on Monday night, police say.

The women struck back. When he came out of the restroom, they stopped him, took his phone, and held him at the scene until police showed up.

Xiaoyuan Zhang, 21, was arrested on Monday night on suspicion of unlawful recording, a felony. He was still in the Maricopa County Jail on Wednesday and hasn't yet posted a $5,000 bond. Police say he shouldn't be released before his October 4 court date because he's a Chinese national with no family ties in Arizona.

Zhang lives off campus in Tempe. ASU's website indicates that he is an undergraduate seeking a bachelor's degree in communication.

Zhang told police he was looking for the men's room on Monday night in the Education Lecture Hall, 100 East Gammage Parkway, but couldn't find it and went into the women's restroom instead. While there, he reportedly said, he decided to do some filming.

Sitting in the center stall, he shot video and photos of at least six women, all of them students, who were using the adjacent stalls.

Katy Harris, spokeswoman for the ASU Police Department, says the images all contain nudity and clearly show the women being recorded. Police were not able to release redacted photos or the initial report. Details about the case come from Harris and the booking sheet police filed in Maricopa County Superior Court.

Evidently one or more of the victims saw what Zhang was doing. Several women confronted him when he came out of the restroom. They "detained" him and took his phone so he couldn't delete anything, police say.

Someone called police, who showed up at about 9:30 p.m. The officers received Zhang's permission to search his phone, and he supplied the password.

"The victims were able to identify who was in the video by watching them," the booking sheet says. 

Harris says ASU police called in an officer who speaks Mandarin to help interview Zhang.

At the ASU police station, Zhang confessed that he had a "dirty mind" and that he had a history of taking photos and videos under women's skirts. He said he had deleted some of the images.

Harris says a background check showed no previous criminal history, and ASU detectives had no previous run-ins with him.

Asked how the arrest might affect Zhang's status as a student, ASU's media-relations department issued the following statement:

"Federal laws governing student privacy and state regulations prevent the university from discussing the details of an individual student’s situation.

"Arizona State University sets high standards for student behavior which are reflected in the Student Code of Conduct.

"Additionally, students are bound by local, state, and federal laws. The Student Code of Conduct embodies the values of the university community — including respect for other members of that community and we hold our students accountable for meeting those standards."

If you believe Zhang took a video or picture of you and want to report it, or if you have information about the case, call ASU police at 480-965-3456.

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