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Complaint: Man who recorded Lawrence students struck again while out on bond

Benjamine Wears was arrested in March on suspicion of secretly recording people in bathroom...
Benjamine Wears was arrested in March on suspicion of secretly recording people in bathroom stalls at Lawrence University(Outagamie County Jail)
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 11:38 AM CDT
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OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - A man who was arrested and charged for secretly recording students in Lawrence University bathrooms struck again while out on bond, according to a criminal complaint obtained by Action 2 News. He was arrested nearly one year after he was released on bond from the first case.

In March, Benjamine Wears, 24, was charged with Capture an Intimate Representation Without Consent (3 counts), Burglary (1 count), and Felony Bail Jumping (3 counts).

Wears was out on bond from an arrest in which he was accused of recording students in bathrooms at the university in February and March of 2020. Investigators found 64 videos during the initial investigation, according to the criminal complaint.

Additional videos were found after Wears was arrested for a second time, according to the complaint.

RECENT ARREST

On March 12, 2021, a Lawrence University Campus Police Officer spotted Wears at Trever Hall. She recognized him from his previous case. She recorded video of Wears running away from her. The officer followed him until he took off running on a trail. She called Appleton Police.

Appleton Police took Wears in for questioning. They got a search warrant and seized his phone from a search of Wears’ apartment. They found three videos of Lawrence students in closed bathroom stalls. The videos were taken in October of 2020--after he had been released on bond.

On November 25, 2020, Wears entered the residence hall and recorded another victim in the men’s room of a residence hall, according to the complaint.

The complaint states the videos captured nudity.

Wears is being held on a $50,000 cash bond in the new case. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for April 9.

FIRST CASE

In March of 2020, a student of Trever Hall spotted Wears sticking a cellphone under the door of a bathroom stall. Wears was taken into custody and charged with 11 counts of Capture an Intimate Representation Without Consent.

Wears was not a student at Lawrence, but told investigators he entered the buildings for the purpose of spying and recording people in intimate settings.

Investigators say Wears admitted secretly recording men in bathroom stalls and in their dorms for “excitement” and “thrill of it.”

Wears was released on bond on March 27, 2020. He was out until his arrest on March 12, 2021.

He has a pre-trial hearing in that case scheduled for June 9, 2021.

Wears is also facing charges in Indiana for voyeurism.

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