Ex-pastor pleads guilty in child voyeurism case

LAFAYETTE, Ind. - A former pastor pleaded guilty to child exploitation and voyeurism after admitting that he secretly videotaped women and girls using cameras he'd planted in a Lafayette church's restroom.

About a dozen members of Sunrise Christian Reformed Church attended Thursday's Tippecanoe County hearing at which Robert Lyzenga, 57, pleaded guilty to five counts each of child exploitation and voyeurism.

Prosecutors said Lyzenga videotaped 10 girls ranging in age from 5 to 16 using two cameras he'd placed in the church's women's restroom.

A judge set Lyzenga's sentencing for July 18, at which time he faces between two and 10 years in prison.

Although Lyzenga continued recording footage even after he realized he'd recorded juveniles, defense attorney Kent Moore said Thursday his client didn't target the juveniles, the Journal & Courier reported.

Lyzenga installed the first camera around Thanksgiving 2011 and added a second one in early 2012 and pointed them at two of the five toilets in the restroom just off the church's sanctuary.

"They were Velcro-ed to the door," he said. "I made it look like it was an air freshener."

Lyzenga continued as pastor for about five months, during which time he downloaded footage and reinstalled the cameras more times than he could recall, until he was caught in late April 2012.

"I could've stopped at any time, but I didn't," he said, calling his actions "shameful."

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