Charges: Ex-Kenai borough employee took secret photos of women, girls at school pools

Skyview Middle School
Skyview Middle School. (Jenny Neyman/KDLL)

A former Kenai Peninsula Borough employee is accused of photographing women and girls without their consent at schools and his home in Soldotna.

Thirty-three-year-old Isaac Davis, of Soldotna, was arrested last Friday on six felony charges — five counts of indecent viewing or photography and one count of tampering with physical evidence — for allegedly taking illicit photos and videos of a minor at the Skyview Middle School pool in Soldotna and a woman at his home without her knowledge.

The charges, filed in Kenai Superior Court last week, detail a lengthy investigation that was put on hold when the Alaska State Troopers investigator himself was arrested on child sexual abuse charges.

Davis no longer is employed at the borough, which is tasked with doing maintenance work at local schools and school facilities like the Skyview pool. He resigned from his position shortly after the investigation began last summer.

Troopers said the charges against him point to a long pattern of behavior, including incidents at a school in Nikiski and at the school pool in Ninilchik. According to the charges, this is what troopers said happened:

In July 2021, a 12-year-old girl noticed she was being filmed by a cell phone while she was showering in her swimsuit in the women’s locker room at Skyview Middle School. The girl reported the incident to the pool lifeguards on staff, who further reported the incident and confronted Davis in the hallway.

Davis told the lifeguards he had entered the wrong locker room by accident and denied taking photographs. But surveillance video footage, reviewed by borough staff and troopers, showed Davis attempting to stay out of sight and making over a dozen short trips to the women’s locker room, during which he appeared to be using his phone. Troopers found another video showing similar behavior from earlier that month.

The same day, Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Assistant Superintendent Kari Dendurant reported the incident to troopers, who served a search warrant of Davis’s phone and computer. Davis told troopers he had been in the women’s locker room by accident and that he was using his phone to watch videos, not film. Two days later, before the borough could put Davis on administrative leave, he resigned.

The charges further detail findings from a Department of Public Safety Technical Crimes Unit analysis and report, which included attempts by Davis to delete evidence from his devices. Troopers also found that Davis had repeatedly launched his camera and photo applications on his phone while entering the locker room. On his computer they found photographs of clothed women and girls “appearing to have been taken surreptitiously,” the charges said. Some of the images were taken at a Nikiski school.

Investigators also found that Davis had also covertly filmed a woman at the Ninilchik School pool in May 2021. Troopers said at an interview at his home earlier this year, in January, Davis admitted to taking photographs from concealed locations, but said it was not his intent to photograph minors.

Davis allegedly told a trooper the pattern of surreptitious photography was “something that just kind of snowballed and I don’t know why,” the charges said.

But the trooper investigation hit a roadblock in October of last year when then-Trooper Benjamin Strachan, who was investigating the case, was jailed on his own charges, for allegedly sexually abusing two girls — one in one night, and one in a pattern that allegedly stretched over a year. Strachan was placed on administrative leave. That case is still in court.

Troopers said a new investigator on Davis’s case retraced many of Strachan’s steps to confirm his findings were accurate. Trooper spokesperson Timothy DeSpain declined to answer questions about Strachan’s involvement.

Court records show Davis is on supervised release after posting bail Monday. Davis’s lawyer declined to comment on the charges.

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