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Chicago Daily Herald
A Neuqua Valley High School graduate on the men's swim team at the University of Illinois at Chicago has been charged with taking video of female swimmers undressing in their locker room, authorities said.
Before practice Feb. 2, a pair of swimmers on the UIC women's team heard laughter from the beyond the wall their locker room shares with the men's team, Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Joseph Carlson said Friday at a bond hearing.
One of the women looked up at a gap between the locker room ceiling and the wall "expecting the men to throw something over the wall," Carlson said.
Instead, she spotted freshman swimmer Joseph Dalesandro's iPhone, which had been pointed at the women's locker room, Carlson said. The 20-year-old woman climbed up the lockers and snatched the phone, noting that it had been recording for 45 minutes.
She stopped the recording but was unable to access the video. She then handed the phone over to university police, Carlson said.
Wearing a blue UIC windbreaker over sweatpants, Dalesandro, 19, bowed his head as he stood before Judge Laura Sullivan on Friday afternoon at the Leighton Criminal Courthouse in Chicago.
Dalesandro was ordered held on $50,000 bail and was barred from entering the locker rooms at the UIC or having any contact with the victims.
Dalesandro's attorney, Marc Davidson, noted that Dalesandro hadn't shared the video with anyone.
"This was, I believe, a prank," Davidson said. "It may be a tasteless one, but it was a prank that went nowhere."
Dalesandro was arrested by UIC police Thursday and unlocked his phone for investigators, Carlson said. He also signed a statement admitting that he had twice climbed the lockers of the men's locker room and propped his camera in a gap between the wall and ceiling, Carlson said
Around 11 a.m. that day, Dalesandro admitted, he pointed the camera into the locker room and recorded about three minutes of footage, showing the two other female swimmers changing out of their street clothes and into their swimsuits, Carlson said. After retrieving the camera, Dalesandro edited the video down to about 60 seconds, just showing the two women undressing, Carlson said.
Two hours later, Dalesandro climbed the lockers again and planted his phone, leaving it to record for 45 minutes until the second pair of swimmers noticed the camera, Carlson said.
UIC officials provided police with a list of people who had access to the locker room during that time, and Dalesandro was one of five men who were in the building, Carlson said.
A spokesman for the UIC athletic department declined to comment on disciplinary action by the university, citing privacy laws. "The athletic department has been aware there has been an investigation and is fully cooperating with the university police and will continue to do so," spokesman Dan Yopchick said Friday.
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