A 17-year Itasca County Sheriff’s deputy was charged Wednesday — a day after he resigned — with a felony for allegedly attempting to videotape a teenage girl in a bathroom.
Aaron Edward Apitz, 45, of Deer River is charged with felony interference with privacy against a minor. The incident reportedly happened at Apitz’s residence.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension reported its investigation found that on Feb. 25, Apitz used a cell phone issued to him by Itasca County to attempt to videotape a 17-year-old female as she entered and exited a shower. The telephone was discovered in the bathroom by the alleged victim, who reported to investigators that it was recording when she found it.
The video reportedly depicted Apitz positioning the phone so that it would be pointed to the area where a person would typically undress before and dry off after a shower.
The alleged victim told investigators she then took the telephone to a bedroom and was attempting to contact her mother and friends when she was confronted by Apitz, who demanded she return the telephone. The BCA obtained the telephone during the course of its investigation, but the telephone’s memory had been wiped clean.
Apitz could not be reached for comment Wednesday. He is not in custody. He had been on administrative leave since the investigation began.
Gregg Deutsch, the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office chief deputy, said Apitz served as a road deputy and as a bailiff who transported prisoners. He said the defendant faced no disciplinary action before his resignation.
The case was developed after an investigation by BCA with the assistance of the Itasca County Sheriff’s Office. Itasca County Attorney Jack Muhar said the matter will be prosecuted by the Cass County Attorney’s Office to avoid the appearance of any conflict of interest.
Ninth Judicial District Judges Jon Maturi and Lois Lang, who both have chambers in the Itasca County Courthouse in Grand Rapids, have recused themselves from hearing the case. It has been assigned to Judge Charles LeDuc of International Falls
The girl said Apitz begged her not to report him because he would lose his job with the sheriff’s office. According to the complaint, Apitz repeatedly apologized for his conduct after his supervisor seized his phone.