ST. PAUL, Minn. - A former custodian is charged with interference of privacy after an alleged peeping incident in the bathroom of a St. Paul arts school.
Prosecutors say 62-year-old Walter Johann Happel looked over, and then under the door of a bathroom stall at Linwood Monroe Arts Plus School while a young boy was using the toilet February 19. The boy told police that Happel peeked under the privacy wall and smiled at him. The student later said what the custodian allegedly did made him feel sad.
After Happel left the restroom the boy ran and told his teacher, who notified school officials. On February 20 Happel was informed that he was being placed on leave and forced to hand in his keys and badge allowing him access. Later that day employees learned that Happel had sneaked back inside the school. A secret office was later discovered with testosterone pills, energy capsules and intensifying gel.
On February 26 Happel resigned his position with the district.
During the course of their investigation police found that Happel was involved in previous incidents, one as early as 2003, where he looked at or commented to young boys as they used the restroom. In one case from 2011 Happel allegedly stood at a urinal next to a student, shook his genitals and told the boy "it's a big thing."
If convicted of surreptitious interference with privacy Walter Happel faces a possible two years in prison.