first_imgA 21-year-old man was charged with voyeurism Nov. 21 for allegedly pointing his cell phone camera at a student in a Zahm House bathroom stall, according to court documents obtained by The Observer. The man was previously enrolled at the University and has been identified as Benjamine Wears.On Sept. 22, around 3 p.m., a student told Zahm rector Robert Francis that while using a first floor restroom in Zahm, he saw the person in the stall next to him holding a cell phone near his ankles with the camera application open. According to the probable cause affidavit, the cell phone was “pointed into [the student’s] stall under the divider between the two stalls” and the student could see the camera application and images on the screen.Thinking a friend was trying to prank him, the student yelled “what the [expletive]” but the person did not leave the stall. The student waited until the occupant left the stall and eventually saw a man with black shoes and a green backpack with a plastic bottle exit and “bolt” out of the bathroom without washing his hands, court documents said.The student chased after the man but didn’t catch him, and later that day reported the incident to the Zahm rector, according to court documents. A police report was filed that afternoon.The next weekend, the student saw the suspect, “who identified himself eventually as Benjamine Wears by both name and by ND ID card,” according to the probable cause affidavit. Police on Oct. 4 interviewed Wears, who said several times he had not been at Zahm.When asked why he tried to swipe into Zahm in August, even though his card wasn’t able to open the door, Wears said he was testing to see if his ID really wouldn’t work on the dormitories, court documents said. When asked about a similar incident that happened in the Hesburgh Library, Wears said he was not responsible for the incident.After executing a search warrant for Wears’ phone and searching it, the Notre Dame Police Department did not find any videos of the inside of the bathrooms. However, the location data of the phone was consistent with Zahm House around the time of the incident, according to the court documents, and the phone’s data shows the camera application was open at a time consistent with the student’s description of events.According to the probable cause affidavit, the location data for Wears’ phone was consistent with the library around the time of the other incident, and the location data shows he left the library a few minutes after the time of the incident.Data from Wears’ phone allegedly shows he had visited websites where men were unknowingly recorded in bathrooms, according to court documents. However, there is no evidence he ever uploaded any videos to the sites.Wears faces one charge of voyeurism and had his initial hearing on Dec. 3., Jessica McBrier, the St. Joseph County prosecutor’s office spokesperson, said. Wears’ attorney, Michael Tuszynski, did not return a request for comment by the time of publication.University spokesperson Dennis Brown provided a statement on the alleged incident on behalf of Notre Dame.“The student is not enrolled at the University, and local authorities are addressing the matter,” Brown said.Tags: Hesburgh Library, NDPD, voyeurism, Zahmlast_img read more

first_imgNew Delhi: Amid clamour from the auto industry for a GST rate cut, Minister of State for Finance Anurag Thakur on Friday asked players in the sector to also take up the matter with state finance ministers who are part of the GST Council, and assured all support from the Centre. Automobile and component manufacturers have been seeking GST cut on automobiles to 18 per cent from 28 per cent to help the sector come out of a prolonged slump that has resulted in job losses. Also Read – Thermal coal import may surpass 200 MT this fiscal”You are aware that any rate cut on GST needs to be approved first by the fitment committee then by the GST Council. I request all of you to also reach out to the state finance ministers who are part of the GST Council,” Thakur said while speaking here at the annual convention of the Automotive Component Manufacturers Association. He said the finance ministry has received multiple representations from car manufacturers, dealers and many of the stakeholders regarding the GST rate cut. Also Read – Food grain output seen at 140.57 mt in current fiscal on monsoon boost”Various OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are based out of various parts of the country. The issue is whether they (the manufacturers) taking these issues with their finance ministers or not,” Thakur later said while speaking to reporters on the sidelines. He said state finance ministers should be equally aware of the challenges faced by the OEMs or the automobile manufacturers. “Our humble request is to apprise them also so that whenever this issue is discussed in the GST Council meeting, everyone should have their view point,” he added. Thakur had reminded the gathering that Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has already suggested in the last meeting that the Centre was open to take it to the GST Council for deliberation, and most of the decisions were unanimous in the previous GST Council meeting. The next GST Council meeting will be held on September 20 in Goa. Thakur said the government has already come out with slew of measures to address challenges faced by the auto industry. “So, that is the priority our government is giving to this industry,” he said. “Let me assure you we stand by you at this juncture and we will be there to listen to your challenges as we know you are going to play the most important role in making India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25,” he said. The government will consider various measures including the scrappage policy and we are working closely on that as per demand of the industry, he said. “This industry is going to do well…. (instead of) looking at this as a challenge, we will take it as an opportunity and be among the top-three countries in automobiles in the world,” he said adding that the companies “can do it… whatever decisions we have to take, we will take.”last_img read more