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Document contains admissions of taping

A Dilworth man accused of placing a camera in the shower of a women's locker room at Concordia College in Moorhead made admissions to that effect in a document handed over to a judge Monday.

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A Dilworth man accused of placing a camera in the shower of a women's locker room at Concordia College in Moorhead made admissions to that effect in a document handed over to a judge Monday.

The document, a list of facts agreed to by the prosecution and defense, states that Steven James Sopko, 31, was a janitor at Concordia on Dec. 27 when he obtained a recording device from the office of the wrestling coach.

Sopko secretly placed the recorder in an air vent in a women's locker room with the intent of filming inside the shower area, according to the document, which Clay County District Court Judge Galen Vaa will use to decide whether Sopko is guilty of seven counts of interfering with privacy. Sopko's attorney, Gregory Joseph, attempted earlier to have the seven counts reduced to one, arguing a crime is committed when a recording device is planted and it doesn't matter how many images get recorded.

The stipulated facts state the camera captured images of seven women when they entered the shower unclothed.

Vaa denied Joseph's earlier motion to dismiss six of the counts, leading to the trial based on stipulated facts.

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Such trials are rare in Clay County.

They are typically requested when the defense strategy is to focus on setting up grounds for an appeal of pre-trial issues, rather than on avoiding a finding of guilt at trial, according to Clay County Attorney Brian Melton.

Joseph told Vaa Monday his intent is to preserve the right to appeal pre-trial motions as well as any potential sentence.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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