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LEHI — A Lehi man has been arrested and accused of taking photographs of young boys in the bathroom of an LDS meetinghouse.
Jeffery Aaron Young, 39, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of voyeurism against a child under 14 and tampering with evidence.
On Nov. 8, members of an LDS ward on the north end of Lehi called police to report they believed a man had been taking pictures of young men in the bathroom, said Lehi Police Lt. Toby Peterson.
Investigators say Young, who normally attends church at an LDS ward down the street, walked into the other church and went straight to the restroom without attending any of the meetings, and found a crack between the wall and a stall.
"We believe he was taking pictures through that gap," Peterson said. "We got two additional calls throughout the month of December of the same individual at the same church."
Church members finally obtained the man's license plate number on Dec. 27 and confronted him, Peterson said. Officers were called and confronted the man at his own church building.
At that time, officers looked at Young's phone but did not find anything illegal. But on Tuesday, detectives went to Young's house to conduct a more thorough, follow-up interview.
"He claims he was going in (the boy's church) to use the restroom," Peterson said.
But during the interview, Young did not give investigators consent to go through his phone again, the lieutenant said. So officers returned to his house on Wednesday with a search warrant.
"They found out he had destroyed the phone after they left the day before and threw it in a dumpster in American Fork," Peterson said.
Based on the evidence that had been collected, Young was arrested and booked into jail. As of Thursday, no pictures of young boys had been found. Peterson said detectives were able to collect the pieces of Young's discarded cellphone and sent it to the Utah State Crime Lab for reconstruction.
Contributing: Andrew Adams