Co-Eds to File Peeping Tom Lawsuit

ByABC News via logo
September 11, 2002, 10:13 PM

Sept. 12 -- Last September, Judith Anderson was taking a shower in the dorm at the University of Colorado-Boulder when she got a creepy feeling that she was being watched.

"It began last September there was actually a man that was physically in the bathroom," Anderson said on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. "That was before the peepholes. We knew after that, that things were going on."

At the time, construction workers had been working in her dormitory. Anderson filed a police report and told her dorm hall supervisor, who was supposed to pass along her complaint, but nothing was done, she said.

Now, Anderson is one of nine women who have filed a notice of intent to sue the university over the issue, claiming the college didn't do enough to safeguard their privacy. She has had nightmares and panic attacks since it happened, Anderson said.

An electrician was arrested last April for allegedly spying on women in one of the dorm bathrooms. Peepholes that allowed people standing in closets to look into shower stalls were found in two dorm bathrooms in January, and the students were not told until March, Anderson said.

University officials say they're doing everything possible to make sure it doesn't happen again.

"We are equally devastated and concerned for what happened to these women," said Deb Coffin, housing director for the University of Colorado-Boulder.

"We have secured the closets we are most concerned about, and we are installing a card access system to all doors on bathrooms as well as closets," Coffin said.

The students' attorney, John Zakhem, says they plan to go ahead with the suit.

"My clients were violated," Zakhem said. "Their safety and security were not cared for by any of the contractors or by the university and we clearly have a duty from our universities, especially public universities, that young children are going to have an education and not be spied upon."