Clarification: A previous version of this story said that Lt. Col. Sweatland remained as a department chair at California Polytechnic State University. A statement from U.S. Army Cadet Command clarified that he was removed from the posting.
An Army officer who leads ROTC at California Polytechnic State University faces criminal charges after a preteen girl found a recording device reportedly belonging to the officer and allegedly containing secretly captured images from multiple retail store dressing rooms.
Police claim Lt. Col. Jacob Sweatland, 39, called the store in Pismo Beach, California, asking whether anyone had found what he called his “key fob.”
Police were investigating the matter after a preteen girl found the device — and local law enforcement reviewed the contents of the device, which included images from dressing rooms from multiple stores.
Cal Coast News, an online news source for San Luis Obispo County, previously reported on Sweatland’s charges and arrest.
A clerk at the store, working with the police, instructed Sweatland that he could pick up the device from the store. When Sweatland saw law enforcement at the business, he fled on foot, according to the report. It took authorities 20 minutes to track down Sweatland, He was arrested and charged with resisting arrest and invasion of privacy by recording in a dressing room.
Both crimes, according to the report, are misdemeanors. In line with current California laws, Sweatland could be eligible for misdemeanor diversion, according to the report. He would divert his sentence for one year while following all laws and completing a community service requirement.
After completing the diversion program, Sweatland’s cases would be dismissed and he could then apply to have his record expunged, according to Cal Coast News.
Sweatland, who chaired the Military Science and Leadership Department, was removed from his position as department chair and barred from campus, according to the statement from Army Cadet Command. He has been placed in a teleworking status until the conclusions of investigations by the Army Criminal Investigation Division and local law enforcement.
Zamone “Z” Perez is a rapid response reporter and podcast producer at Defense News and Military Times. He previously worked at Foreign Policy and Ufahamu Africa. He is a graduate of Northwestern University, where he researched international ethics and atrocity prevention in his thesis. He can be found on Twitter @zamoneperez.