Serial Peeping Tom in Ann Arbor released after posting bond
ANN ARBOR – The man arrested for planting cameras in the bathrooms of seven local businesses and a park is free on bail.
A $100,000 bond was posted for Erric Morton on Friday and he was released. It was not immediately clear if he personally provided the funds or if someone posted bond on his behalf, Ann Arbor police said.
As a repeat offender who had just completed his parole for similar crimes dating back to 2015, there are concerns that he will continue to victimize unsuspecting individuals until his next court date.
“As a police department, we are obviously concerned that this will continue and we want to prevent further victimizations,” said Lt. Bonnie Theil of the Ann Arbor police. “Unfortunately, a tether was not issued in this case.”
Theil said the conditions of Morton’s bail are not to use computers or computer equipment and not to violate any law. She is also prohibited from entering the Briarwood Mall, she said.
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Morton, 35, was arrested on September 7 on 12 counts, including capturing an image of a naked person, possession of child sexual abuse material and using a computer to commit a crime.
The Michigan State Police’s Cybercrime Unit is assisting the AAPD with digital forensics in the investigation, analyzing hundreds of videos captured in public restrooms between January 27 and July 22.
Morton planted cameras in the following locations:
Bath and body care
Hampton Inn and Wyndham Garden
Cafe Vertex (S University)
Starbucks (Plymouth Road)
Sweetwater Cafe (Plymouth Road)
Theil said the secret cameras used by Morton came in many forms, including cameras disguised as USB outlets and, in at least one case, a pen camera attached under a sink.
“He wasn’t putting them in stalls,” Theil said. “He was putting them in an open, family-style toilet. And he would come back later and get them back.
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Some videos he captured included children, and police said Morton distributed the content online.
“We view this as extremely heinous and just an awful violation and we want to get it off the streets,” Theil said. “Unfortunately, we are seeing a lot of recidivism in sexual deviance crimes.”
The AAPD has created a reporting site for people who think they were filmed by Morton. The department is also actively working to contact the people they identify in the footage.
Regarding best practices when using public restrooms, Theil urges individuals to be vigilant at all times and to report anything strange.
“Be aware of your surroundings and look around you,” she said. “If you see anything that looks out of place, alert management immediately so they can collect it and have a look. And call the police.
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