DA Considers Hidden Camera Charges Against Lifeguard

The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office is expected to decide Friday whether to file charges against a 23-year-old Burbank city lifeguard accused of secretly videotaping people in a public pool locker room.

Arturo Montano, 23, was arrested Wednesday at the Verdugo Park pool where he worked, police said.

Detectives are reviewing videos and photos stored on the suspect's computer and cellphone, officials said. Police said they found numerous people, some of whom are minors, in various states of undress in the files.

The images were taken "for the purpose of sexual stimulation," said Burbank Police Sgt. Claudio Losacco, a department spokesman.

The case was opened after one of Montano's co-workers discovered a partially-hidden cellphone while changing in the staff locker room, Losacco said.

"She looked up, saw it for what it was, and took it down," he said.

Police said the phone had been in a video-record mode, and consider the co-worker who found it to be among several victims. Police have not determined how many people were victimized.


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Detectives said that additional video shows women and girls inside the women's public restroom at the pool, but officers were unsure where the camera was recording.

The pool is one of two operated in Burbank by the city's parks and recreation department.

Montano began working summers for the department seven years ago at age 16, and became a full-time, year-round lifeguard at the Verdugo pool three years ago, said Drew Sugars, a spokesman for the city of Burbank.

Co-workers feel "betrayed," Sugars said. "It was shocking to them and very disappointing."

Montano had no previous arrests before Wednesday, police said.

Police seized a computer from his home near the Burbank Bob Hope Airport in Sun Valley where he lives with his mother and younger siblings.

A woman at the house Thursday declined to comment.

The city of Burbank is looking at ways to prevent surreptitious recording at its pool facilities, including securing employees' personal cellphones while at the workplace, Sugars said.

Parks and Recreation officials are already requiring pool employees to change in the public restroom/locker room area, rather than the staff office, where staffers store personal belongings.

"If you have, say, a backpack, there might be an opportunity to hide something in there," Sugars said. "We want to make sure that does not happen."

Word of the arrest did not deter parents from bringing children to the pool Thursday, though many were already in their swimsuits and did not use the changing area.

Teacher Nancy Martin and her daughter did.

"When we go in, it's going to be, 'who's in here with us and what's out of place?'" Martin said. "But you can't let that stop you."

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