Wisconsin teacher charged in connection to hiding cameras in students' hotel rooms in downtown Minneapolis

A Madison, Wisconsin teacher is now facing charges in Minneapolis after students ranging in age from 15 to 17 found hidden cameras in their hotel room in December 2019.

A criminal complaint states David Kruchten, 37, from Cottage Grove, was charged with three felony counts of interfering with privacy against a minor. He was arrested last week and now faces up to six years in prison and/or a maximum of a $15,000 fine.

Police started the investigation after a group of Wisconsin students discovered cameras disguised as air freshener canisters found in their hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Minneapolis.

According to the complaint, the cameras were hidden in air freshener canisters that had been placed inside their hotel room by Kruchten. The cameras were uncovered when one of the girls in the room tried to use an air freshener, causing a panel to pop off that exposed the camera.

Minneapolis Police say those devices, along with two thermostats, brought to the front desk by Kruchten after the students reported them around midnight Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. However, authorities were not contacted until the following morning when parents learned of the incident.

Police investigating recording devices found at downtown Minneapolis Hyatt Regency

Students told police that Kruchten had taken the devices around midnight to the front desk. However, hotel surveillance video showed Kruchten leaving the hotel for a period of time until he finally turned over the items to the front desk around 1:35 a.m. At that time, police say he failed to notify hotel staff that a crime had been committed or request that they call police, despite him being a "mandatory reporter" as a teacher.

Security also said to officers that while the girls were away from their rooms, someone had used a card assigned to the trip supervisors to enter the rooms. Three rooms were noted where the devices were discovered, according to the complaint.

Police added that the smoke detectors and other devices were never found and may have been potentially destroyed.

Through the investigation and after reviewing Kruchten's phone, police learned he had visited a website that sold hidden cameras concealed as air fresheners, thermostats and smoke detectors. Kruchten admitted to buying those items after being questioned by authorities.

Kruchten is currently being held in federal custody in Wisconsin.