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Charges dropped after alleged Illiniwek bathroom video recording

Charges dropped after alleged Illiniwek bathroom video recording (File Photo)

University of Illinois professor Jay Rosenstein has been placed on paid administrative leave after he was arrested for unauthorized videotaping at last night's men's basketball game.

Ivan ‘Alex’ Dozier, a former Illini Chief portrayer, says he was walking down the hall of the State Farm Center when he, along with several other members of the Honor the Chief Society, were followed into the bathroom.

"When he came in he obviously recognized me and said, "hey Ivan, I thought I might find you in here,'” Dozier said. “And I just said, ‘are you trying to catch me with my privates out?' And when my dad heard the confrontation he jumped out of the stall and said you cannot have a camera in bathroom and you cannot be filming my son."

University of Illinois Police arrested professor Rosenstein on unauthorized video charges, however, those charges were dropped Tuesday morning by Champaign County State’s Attorney Julia Rietz. Rietz says the criminal justice system is no place to gain advantage for one side or another of public debate.

Rosenstein teaches cinema at University of Illinois and is known for his documentary on the chief tradition, called "In Whose Honor?"

According to police, Rosenstein said he had a journalistic responsibility to be filming.

One U of I student who has spent time working on the school’s yearbook says in journalism, when deciding when or when not to film something, it’s not always black and white.

“You know, where does your line go?” student Kat Weaver said. “So the fact that he broke the law is like, yes, as a citizen, you should follow the law and obey that. But on the other hand how do you get unbiased information out to the public so they can be informed on things?"

Another student says he thinks the professor should face disciplinary action from the university.

"At some point there's got to be consent and following someone into the bathrooms is definitely out of line,” student Edwin Bahthal said.

Rosenstein did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In a statement the university says, “If the allegations against Prof. Rosenstein are accurate, they do not comport with the university's code of conduct."Charges have been dropped against University of Illinois professor Jay Rosenstein, who was arrested Monday night on unauthorized video recording charges.

Rosenstein is no longer in custody and the Champaign County State’s Attorney says charges have been dropped. This comes after Rosenstein was accused of following a former Chief Illiniwek mascot into a bathroom and recording him on a cell phone at the State Farm Center during the Illinois-Michigan State game.

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The following statement on the incident was sent by Robin Kaler, Associate Chancellor for Public Affairs:

Media and Cinema Studies Prof. Rosenstein allegedly admitted to videotaping a person in a public restroom and was arrested by UIPD on unauthorized videotaping charges. If the allegations against Prof. Rosenstein are accurate, they do not comport with the university’s Code of Conduct. Video recording of individuals in a public restroom without permission is an unacceptable violation of personal privacy under any circumstances.
Prof. Rosenstein is being placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into this allegation. We will not comment publicly on the details of the investigation, but the outcome of that process once it is completed is likely to be considered by law public information.

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