A 50-year-old Phoenixville man faces multiple felony charges after police say he took sexually suggestive video of women in his neighborhood without their consent, and, on several occasions, broke into nearby homes to take photographs of bras and underwear.
Two men and their underage daughters went to the Schuylkill Township Police Department to report suspicious behavior in the neighborhood on Nov. 23 of 2012, according to court documents.
The men stated that their daughters were asked to pet sit by their neighbor, Mark Nicholas Kawchak, 50, in his home on the 100 block of Hawthorne Lane, according to police. While in the house, the girls found a silver handheld video camera that they had reportedly seen Kawchak conspicuously using around the neighborhood. Police say they played the recordings and were startled by what they saw.
The girls told police they saw footage of themselves playing in front of their homes and a lot of additional video of neighboring women, the court documents say. The video, the girls said, focused almost exclusively on the breast and buttocks of the women in question.
The girls also discovered photographs on the camera, several of which were of underwear belonging to the younger sister of one of the girls, and appeared to have been taken inside her bedroom, police report.
The father of the girl whose bedroom had been photographed told police, the report says, that he had given Kawchak a key years earlier, for emergency purposes, but had not given him permission to enter the home in a decade.
The girls provided Schuylkill Police with a list of names of the women they saw on the camera. After conducting interviews with these women, police applied for and received a warrant to search Kawchak’s home.
Chester County Detectives and Schuykill Police searched the home on Jan. 2, and recovered several video storage devices. According to court documents, during the search, Kawchak was interviewed, and admitted to entering his neighbors’ homes and photographing their underwear, according to court documents.
Authorities ultimately recovered 151 photos and 165 videos, court documents report. The images included numerous shots of underwear, and close ups of women's breast and groin areas, as the girls initially reported. One video depicted a nude women standing in front of her bathroom mirror, police say.
Mark Nicholas Kawchak was charged on March 1 with 17 counts of felony criminal trespassing, and numerous misdemeanors related to privacy violations and harassment. He was released from Chester County Prison on $35,000 bail and faces a preliminary hearing on Thursday.