A long-time employee of Citrus College entered a not guilty plea in court Wednesday, accused of secretly filming women on campus, possibly for years.
In details that are just emerging, Vincent Patino, 34, was charged with 19 misdemeanor counts, which include four counts of unauthorized invasion of privacy and 15 counts of disorderly conduct by secretly videotaping or photographing the body or undergarments of another, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.
Patino was arrested January 26 in the 1600 block of Palm Drive at his Covina home.
Glendora detectives issued a search warrant at his previous residence in West Covina October 30, 2015, and took computers, hard drives and his cell phone to conduct a forensic examination, said Detective Josh Price of Glendora Police.
Patino worked at the campus for more than 10 years, detectives said, in the Owl Bookstore.
While declining to specifically state how many people were affected by Patino, Price did state that numerous victims were allegedly filmed by him.
“[They] would see him walking around with his cell phone and he keeps it in video mode. He acts like he’s reaching for things and he holds the phone underneath female’s skirts to videotape up their skirts,” some of the victims and witnesses told detectives.
Detectives found digital pictures and video on the confiscated devices that corroborated the victims’ and witnesses’ claims, Price said.
Some of the evidence is not time or date stamped, so it is difficult to tell how far back Patino allegedly committed these acts. Witnesses were reluctant to come forward because he worked there for so long and felt he was untouchable, Price said.
School officials immediately called Glendora Police when a victim did come forward, Price said.
“Be aware of your surroundings. If you feel somebody’s standing too close to you, there’s probably a reason you feel uneasy about it. Call the police if you feel like it warrants that,” Price said.
Patino is being held in lieu of $475,000 bail at the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles. His next court appearance is scheduled for February 22 in the West Covina Courthouse, according to county booking records.