A Livermore man who works as a firefighter in San Mateo County faces criminal charges after police allege he secretly video-recorded two teenage girls while they were trying to change into swimsuits in his bathroom last weekend.
Simon W. Meyer, 52, has been charged with misdemeanor counts of child molestation and invasion of privacy involving underage victims, which could result in sex offender registration if convicted.
He was arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court on Wednesday morning, according to the District Attorney's Office. It was not immediately clear whether he entered a plea to the charges nor whether he was yet represented by defense counsel.
A firefighter for the San Mateo Consolidated Fire Department for the past 21 years, Meyer has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of his criminal case. He remained in custody as of Wednesday afternoon.
In response to Meyer's arrest, SMCFD fire marshal Robert Marshall told the Weekly, "The department takes these allegations very seriously, and we will continue to monitor the situation carefully. We are cooperating with the Livermore Police Department in their investigation. We feel strongly that public trust in our staff is of the utmost importance, and will take appropriate action once we know the disposition of the case."
Livermore police said their investigation unfolded on Saturday evening when a father called police to report his 14-year-old daughter and her 15-year-old female friend were the victims of an illicit video-recording by the family's neighbor, Detective Ivan Alvarez wrote in a probable cause declaration.
The father reportedly identified Meyer by name over the phone to the police dispatcher.
An officer arrived and interviewed the daughter that evening. She told police that she and her friend went to Meyer's house to go swimming in his pool just after 6 p.m. Saturday, saying her friend knew Meyer as a family friend, according to Alvarez.
When the girls said they needed to change into their swimsuits, Meyer allegedly told them to use the master bathroom but he needed to quickly clean it up first. The friends then went into the master bathroom together, but when one started to undress, her friend "saw a cellphone slightly hidden behind a package of toilet paper … unlocked because it had been recording," Alvarez said.
The girl immediately stopped her friend from undressing, ended the recording, sent the video to herself via AirDrop and then deleted the video from the hidden phone's "recently deleted" folder, according to the detective.
"(Victim one) sent the video to her parents, who subsequently confronted Meyer at his residence. Meyer denied being involved even after they showed him the cellphone footage," Alvarez wrote.
The detective alleges the copied video depicts Meyer handling the cellphone and placing it behind a towel and a hat in an attempt to conceal it before the girls enter the bathroom.
Meyer was arrested and booked into Santa Rita Jail in Dublin on Sunday, according to police, who said they also executed a search warrant at his house in Livermore.
The DA's office charged Meyer on Tuesday with two misdemeanor counts of invasion of privacy, with special allegations that the victims were under 18 years old, as well as one misdemeanor count of child molestation of two underage girls.
He is next scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial hearing on Aug. 17, according to prosecutors.
Livermore police also said their investigation was still active. Anyone with additional information about the case can contact Alvarez at 925-371-4759.