A Salt Lake City landlord — who is also a registered sex offender — has been arrested after he allegedly used hidden cameras to record his tenants undressing, having sex and using the bathroom.
According to police, they found “voyeurism videos” recorded over the past several years. And, while most of the victims were young, male tenants, others included “females, visitors and even LDS missionaries.”
On Monday, Larry Phillips, 69, surrendered to police, who are investigating him for multiple counts of voyeurism by electronic device and burglary. (He’s believed to have gone into his tenants’ bedrooms without their knowledge or permission.) Phillips is being held without bail in the Salt Lake County jail, pending formal charges.
According to a probable cause statement, two of Phillips’ tenants living in Salt Lake City called police on July 31 to report they’d found hidden cameras in what appeared to be “iPhone charger blocks” in their rooms, along with “strange wiring” in the walls and ceilings and power strips mounted on the walls several feet off the ground.
The two cameras were seized by police, but Phillips was not told he was under investigation at that time.
On Aug. 10, detectives in the SLCPD’s special victims unit obtained a search warrant for the two cameras and discovered video of a naked man. They also learned that Phillips pleaded guilty in 2015 to two counts of felony forcible sexual abuse that occurred in 2002 in St. George, and that he was arrested for misdemeanor “offensive touching” in Sandy in 2006.
On Sept. 10, police served a search warrant at Phillips’ home and seized more than 70 electronic items, including laptops, video recorders, cameras, hidden cameras, SD cards, flash drives, cellphones, tablets and hard drives. Detectives identified the bathroom seen in the video found in July, and found a camera plugged into an outlet there.
According to police, Phillips told detectives he had four security cameras in his home — two in his private bedroom and two in an art studio. He denied using the cameras for anything other than home security.
Later in September, detectives obtained search warrants for Phillips’ cellphone and for all the electronic devices seized from his home. Police wrote in the probable cause statement that they found more than 320 “voyeurism videos” recorded from a variety of “hidden locations,” including next to toilets and from inside bedroom closets.
Police say the videos “captured the victims being surreptitiously recorded in bathrooms,” as they changed clothes, relieved themselves and had sex. Many of the videos were recorded at Phillips’ home and two other houses in the Salt Lake Valley that are “owned by Larry’s friends” and include videos of Phillips installing and adjusting cameras. The videos also include “male models being secretly recorded in art classes” and recordings from inside locker rooms at “unknown locations.”
Phillips is a student at the University of Utah, according to police, and the SLCPD is working with University of Utah Police to determine if any of the videos were recorded on campus.
According to police, they have identified and interviewed 13 victims to date, and there are “still several outstanding victims who detectives have not been able to identify/locate.”