SAN FRANCISCO — A professor at San Francisco State University has been arrested and charged after he allegedly recorded students using the restroom at his California home.
Mark Landis, 38, is facing 15 counts of invasion of privacy after being taken into custody on Wednesday and released on $100,000 bail.
Landis, who taught accounting at San Francisco State until he resigned two weeks ago, is said to have invited students to his home for weekend parties.
“He was just the person that would host, and it was a safe place to go to,” an anonymous student told the San Francisco Chronicle. “We basically hung out every single weekend for about two years, and we always hung out at his house because he always had a lot of alcohol.”
However, last November, one of the male students who used the restroom while attending a party at Landis’ house discovered a flashing camera inside of a tissue box that was sitting on the lid of the toilet. He removed the memory card from the camera and proceeded to see what was on it. The student then discovered that he and other students were being recorded as they urinated.
The student then took the memory card to police and reported the matter.
“I think it’s sick at many levels,” San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon told reporters. “The camera was basically pointing toward the toilet so he could film people’s genitals as they were using the restroom.”
He said that he believes that this was not an isolated incident.
“We believe, given the ongoing investigation in this case, that there are probably many other victims,” Gascon told KGO-TV.
He is asking other students who believe to have been violated by Landis to come forward. The memory card provided to police featured 15 current and former students.
“It’s scarred all of us,” one of the students stated. “This was a close friend of ours. We could open up to him. He was a mature figure we could chat with and have conversations with. He always seemed like a nice guy, but now we’re wondering if he was just nice to us so we would invite more friends over.”
Landis, who had also taught at the University of San Francisco, will appear for an arraignment on Tuesday. He had been promoted last year at San Francisco State University and was featured on a poster announcing his promotion.
“You have an individual that has power and authority over these young kids that he invited to his home,” Gascon stated. “There was a special relationship there–one of power, authority and trust—and he violated that.”
“As the saying goes ‘who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men,'” one commenter stated.