UPDATED: Sullivan man arrested on three felony counts of voyeurism
A joint criminal investigation between the Indiana State Police, Sullivan City Police Department and the Sullivan County Prosecutor’s Office has led to the arrest of Norman L. Parnell, 50, Sullivan, on three counts of voyeurism, all Level 6 felonies.
The SCPD first received a complaint on April 18 from a female customer at a sun tanning salon in Sullivan. The salon involved was the former Parnell Studio, located at 524 N. Section St.
The customer stated to police that a video was being taken of her by a cellphone located in a vent in the tanning room that she was occupying.
Sullivan City Police Dept. Assistant Chief Spencer Brooks obtained a search warrant for Parnell’s cellphone, who was working at the tanning salon at the time of the complaint. The cellphone was then turned over to ISP Detective Sgt. Chris Carter with the ISP Cyber Crime Unit to perform a forensic download.
According to an affidavit of probable cause for arrest, the customer reported seeing a cellphone in a red and black case appear in the left-hand corner of the vent in the private room in which she was tanning. The victim reported the phone was then quickly removed, and the suspect, Parnell, walked by the door and headed to his office.
During the forensic download of Parnell’s cellphone, two videos, along with multiple screen shots from the videos, were recovered.
The first video was taken on Nov. 24, 2018 at approximately 5:16 p.m., lasting 1 minute, 28 seconds. The video shows the inside of the closet as the camera is being moved into position behind a vent, then looking down into the room where there is white glow from the tanning bed. A beeping noise can be heard, the tanning bed shuts off and the lid opens. The video shows a young female, later identified as Victim 2, getting out of the tanning bed, walking out of the video and then back into the frame. She was not wearing any clothing.
The second video was taken on April 16 at approximately 11:40 a.m., lasting 54 seconds. Similar to the previous incident, the affidavit says this female was later identified as Victim 3.
During the execution of the search warrant on Parnell Studio on April 30, photographs were taken of the closet and through the vent into the tanning room in question. The photographs taken by police look very similar to the video and screen shots taken by Parnell that were recovered from his phone.
Victim 2 made the statement, the affidavit said, that she went to Parnell Studio to tan, they were getting ready to close and Parnell offered and allowed her to tan in bed 9 at no extra cost. She stated than she had only tanned in bed 9 one time which was on Nov. 24. She also stated that she did not pay for the tanning package that would include bed 9.
Victim 3 made the statement that Parnell offered her the opportunity to tan in bed 9 at no extra cost. She also stated she did not pay for the tanning package that would include bed 9.
On Tuesday, ISP Detective Michael Taylor reviewed the case with Sullivan County Prosecutor Ann Mischler and charges were filed against Parnell.
All three voyeurism felonies, filed in Sullivan Circuit Court on Tuesday, stated “Parnell did peep without the consent of Female Victim (1, 2 and 3) into an area where the occupant could reasonably be expected to disrobe, to-wit; a private tanning room, occupied by Female Victim (1, 2 and 3) and knowingly or intentionally committed said offense by means of a camera contrary to the form of the statutes in such cases made and provided by I.C. 35-45-4-5 (b) (2) and I.C. 35-45-4-5 (c) (1) and against the peace and dignity of the State of Indiana.”
Due to the length of the forensic download and the necessity of identifying all victims in this case, the investigation became prolonged, according to the ISP news release. Detectives have now identified and interviewed all victims involved in this case and are very confident that no others are involved.