SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – A landlord and registered sex offender has been charged with alleged voyeurism involving his tenants.
According to the police affidavit, 69-year-old Larry Phillips of Salt Lake City faces 13 charges of voyeurism by electronic equipment concealed or disguised and seven counts of burglary of a dwelling.
In late July 2020, Salt Lake City Police received a suspicious circumstance at a home in the 1900 block of E St. Mary’s Drive. The complainant reported finding hidden cameras in the home.
The responding officer says they met with two people who were renting separate bedrooms on the property. Both reported finding hidden cameras in their private rented bathrooms.
According to the affidavit, the cameras appeared to be an iPhone charger block. The cameras reported worked by motion detection and record both video and audio files.
The complainants and the officer then devised a false narrative that they were reporting stolen property to the officer in case the landlord, Phillips, who lived in the same house, became suspicious and questioned why the officer was on scene. Authorities say “this was done to not alert Larry that the hidden cameras had been discovered and that police were there for that reason.”
Officers ultimately seized the two cameras.
In August, detectives obtained a search warrant for the cameras and found they contained video of a naked male in an unknown bathroom.
Detectives also found that Phillips “is a compliant, registered sex offender.”
In November 2015, Phillips plead guilty to two 2nd Degree Felony charges of forcible sex abuse to an incident that happened in January 2002 in St. George. In February 2006, Phillips was arrested for a misdemeanor charge of offensive touching in Sandy.
In September 2020, with the assistance of the SLCPD SWAT team, detectives served a search warrant at Phillips’ residence.
According to the affidavit, detectives seized over 70 items of electronic evidence from the home, including laptops, video recorders, cameras, more hidden cameras, SD cards, flash drives, multiple cellphones, tablets, hard drives, and more. Detectives also found the bathroom where the video of the unknown male was recorded and found another camera plugged into the same outlet where the original video was recorded.
Phillips told authorities that four cameras where in his home, including two located in his private bedroom and two in an art studio. He explained that the cameras were for security purposes because “he had many renters and valuable items on the property.”
He denied using the cameras for any other purpose other than for home security.
After obtaining search warrants in September, detectives found over 90 voyeurism videos on Phillips’s electronics.
According to the affidavit, over 320 voyeurism videos have been found by detectives to date on Phillips’s electronics. Those videos, officials say, capture victims being secretively recorded in bathrooms changing clothes, getting in and out of the shower, and numerous other times in which they were naked.
The affidavit says the videos were also recorded in their private rented bedrooms when they were having sexual intercourse with other individuals.
Detectives say they identified and interviewed 13 victims after months of investigating. They also identified that videos have been recorded in Phillips’s primary residence, the art studio in the backyard, and two other homes in the Salt Lake valley that were owned by one of his friends.
According to the affidavit, detectives identified videos of male models being secretly recorded in art classes at an unknown location as well as locker room videos recorded at an unknown location.
Phillips is reportedly a student at the University of Utah and detectives with SLCPD and UUPD are working together to determine if the videos were recorded at the U of U.
Multiple videos of Phillips placing and removing cameras in different locations and checking the angle and view of the cameras have been discovered by detectives.
Victims also reported to detectives that they believed someone was entering their private rented bedrooms and moving their items. After interviewing these victims, detectives have determined these videos may have been recorded over the past few years.
Most of these videos are recordings of the male tenants living in the home at the time they were recorded, detectives say, with some of those videos including females, visitors, and even LDS Missionaries.
According to the affidavit, Phillips turned himself in to police in early January 2021 without incident.
He has since been booked into Salt Lake County Jail.
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