Neighbor spying investigation leads to sex charges for ex-Marine

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by Mike Gertzman & Jason Volentine

Bio | Email | Follow: @jasonvolentine

Video report by Jason Volentine

Posted on March 5, 2013 at 3:02 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 6 at 7:09 AM

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PHOENIX -- A four month investigation has led to the arrest of a former Marine who is now facing 10 counts of Sexual Exploitation of a Minor and 2 counts of Surreptitious Recording.

The investigation began in October when an Ahwatukee woman found a hidden video camera on the  balcony of her second story apartment. The camera had been recording the interior of her apartment.

Police viewing the video discovered the person who put the camera on the balcony had recorded video of his distinctive shoes. The victim recognized the shoes as belonging to a nearby resident at the complex. That same resident was seen walking around the victim's apartment several times after the camera was recovered.

Detectives arrested Donald Linville, 23. Linville admitted to being involved in the recordings and was booked for burglary, attempted voyeurism, harassment and false reporting. During his arrest a search warrant was served to gather computers, recording and storage devices.

Detectives who analyzed the computers located several videos of the suspect engaging in sexual intercourse with various females. Given some of the conduct detectives did not believe the females were aware of the recordings. Three of six females were identified and confirmed they did not know they were being recorded, one was determined to be 15 years of age. Three of the females have yet to be identified and detectives believe one or more of them is also a minor.

"During the time of the event that we had here at the pool he would be talking to us but he would also be turning around and be checking out younger children or the younger lady who lived here,” said one of Linville’s former neighbors when 3TV showed her Linville’s picture on Tuesday.  “It was very, extremely uncomfortable.”

In addition, numerous images of child pornography were recovered from Linville's computer, involving children under the age of 12.

Police arrested Linville again on Monday. He had been on electronic monitoring since his first arrest in October.

"There are a wide range of sex crimes that are being committed by this individual so what the issue is or what his problem is we don't know specifically," said Sgt. Trent Crump with the Phoenix Police Dept.

Police said the county attorney is looking into one allegation that Linville tried to get a 4 year old boy he was recently babysitting to give him oral sex.

At his initial court appearance, Linville's bond was set at $18,000 cash only appearance. He asked the hearing officer to be released again on electronic monitoring.

"I am a college student. I don't have any income right now so I can't afford that on my own," said Linville at the hearing.

The hearing officer refused to lower the bond saying, "I reviewed the police report. I've discussed it with the county attorney and based upon my review...I'm most concerned here...not only because of the offenses...at one point here this evening we had a potential victim of yours here who appeared and wrote out comments. I'm concerned with the victims and I'm most seriously concerned with the age of the children on the videotapes...I'm very concerned about this."

Detectives are asking for anyone with information about this investigation to contact the Phoenix Police Department's family Investigations Unit at 602-534-2121 or Silent Witness at 480-948-6377.

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