The suspect admitted to filming at least 80 videos of men through a peephole at the urinals in the Horticulture Building, according to the criminal complaint.
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn — A major privacy violation is alleged to have happened at the Minnesota State Fair, according to Ramsey County court documents.
A Minneapolis man is charged with videotaping people in the bathroom last year, and according to court papers, he admitted he’s done it before.
Reports indicate the same thing happened at the Fair as early as 2004, but fair officials and the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office haven’t explained if anything is being done. After the most recent evidence was uncovered, it was discovered the problem spans far beyond this one man.
Inside the men’s bathroom at the Horticulture Building is where prosecutors say 33-year-old Michael Kurtis Neu filmed at least 80 videos of men using the restroom last summer through a small hole in a stall door.
Neu, who goes by Kurtis, is charged with one count of interference with privacy – peeping, and one count of nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images, which is more commonly known as the “sexting” law.
The way this case was cracked, according to court papers, is that a deputy told his partner about a case he investigated back in 2004 after a peephole was found in the bathrooms by the Kidway.
The next day, the younger partner walked into the Horticulture Building and noticed two peepholes at belt-height right next to the urinals.
The day after that, court papers say Neu was caught red-handed in the stall recording with his phone and admitted to doing the same thing in 2019.
The court paperwork raises a number of questions about how long this type of behavior has been going on, and what exactly has been done about it.
The Horticulture Building superintendent told investigators “he was aware of the hole and thought it had been present for several years.” The deputies had to explain how it was being used as a peephole.
The suspect told investigators there were other “bathrooms in the Livestock Barn that you could also videotape people.”
And that 2004 case by the Kidway? No word if that peeper was ever caught.
The two charges Neu faces are gross misdemeanors, not felonies, and carry a fine and a maximum of one year in jail.
Attorney Marsh Halberg says it’s the strictest charge Minnesota has under the alleged circumstances.
“If you repeat and have a second offense — or even the first offense involves a child — then it’s a felony with more serious consequences,” Halberg said.
Neu is not facing any charges regarding children, and investigators seized a number of his electronic devices and hard drives several months ago.
Halberg added that under these particular charges, there is no difference if there is one victim or 80 victims, the sentences would be served concurrently, not consecutively.
Court papers say Neu also admitted to “selling” videos to a friend of his, officials say has not been charged.
Neither the State Fair nor the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office are answering questions about this case.
When first approached by KARE 11’s Lou Raguse after he found the case in court records, a Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office administrator said they “didn’t want to make the State Fair look bad.”
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