Accused of buying a sex toy for a 14-year-old girl and installing a hidden camera in her bedroom, a Casper man originally from California faces up to 10 years in prison.
Gary Edward Dean, who is 56 this year, faces one count of voyeurism, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. His case ascended last week from the Casper Circuit Court to the felony-level Natrona County District Court, where he could soon attend an arraignment to give his plea.
An arraignment had not been set for Dean as of Wednesday morning, his case file indicates.
A 14-year-old girl discovered a camera in her room July 28, according to an evidentiary affidavit filed in Dean’s case. The camera was stashed in a pink, plastic basket that sat on a bookshelf facing her bed.
“The basket was kind of hidden behind other stuff of hers on the shelf, so it was difficult to see,” the affidavit relates, adding that there was a lens-sized hole cut in the plastic basket and another hole drilled through the back of the bookshelf, allowing the camera to be plugged into a wall outlet.
The girl discovered the camera days after finding new clothes in her room to include thong underwear, pushup bras, a black crop top shirt and pink shorts. Among these items the girl also found a pink-colored sex toy, which she promptly put in the dumpster, the affidavit alleges.
She called her mom multiple times.
The mom did not answer at first because she was busy at work, but then the girl got through via a FaceTime call and the mom saw the camera, on the call, says the affidavit.
Pack Your Things
The mom came home, got the girl out of the house and called police.
The affidavit says the mom also contacted her boyfriend, Gary Dean, who “became really upset” when the mom said she’d reached out to police.
Dean allegedly told the woman to pack her things and leave his home.
But the mother, meanwhile, turned over the camera, the power cord and the pink basket to Casper police.
Casper Police Department Detective Ryan Lowry contacted Amazon Inc., which holds the Blink camera brand as a subsidiary company, and ordered the preservation of all accounts connected with the camera, says the affidavit.
Agents also got a search warrant for the home and seized two laptop computers, a desktop computer and Dean’s cellphone, which was a Samsung Galaxy.
Dean’s girlfriend, who is the alleged victim’s mother, told police that she knew Dean about a year before they started dating and they dated another year before she moved in with him.
Dean had in recent years come to Casper from California, where he’d reportedly had a bad divorce in which his ex-wife accused him of various crimes, but he had been acquitted. He lost his guns and his home in the divorce, the woman related to police.
The woman mentioned the controversy over the new clothes showing up in the girl’s room, but at the time no one could figure out where they came from and Dean denied having anything to do with it, the affidavit says.
He seemed mild-mannered and kind during their relationship, the woman related.
Forensic Examination Of The Phone
Agents conducted a forensic examination of Dean’s phone, which showed signs that items had been deleted recently, says the affidavit.
He had very few applications installed and only four text message threads, all starting about 3 p.m. July 28, the document adds.
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation ascertained through its forensic examination that someone had deleted the Blink application from the phone on July 28, the affidavit says. A July 24 message from the number 78156 also had been deleted, allegedly, which read “your Blink verification code is: 106178.”
An investigator interviewed Dean, who kept repeating he was ready to go to jail, the affidavit says.
He denied knowledge or involvement with the camera, and when asked about the deletion of the Blink application, he reportedly said that was from a camera he’d had a few months prior, which he never got to work.
The investigator asked Dean about the verification code. Dean said the investigator “already knew everything,” the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, police also found that Dean had texted the young girl on July 15, such texts as: “You are a beautiful young woman, but I think your mom still sees you as a little kid;” and, “You aren’t that little girl, you are a young woman and you have questions and concerns.”
The agent who wrote the affidavit later characterized Dean’s alleged maneuvers as “grooming.”
The ‘Fun’ WiFi Account
Lowry applied Aug. 9 for a search warrant for the Blink account data. A Casper Circuit Court Judge granted the warrant.
Six days later, Blink responded to the warrant, giving nine still images, eight videos, an excel data document, a cover letter and a certificate of authenticity, says the affidavit.
The videos reportedly showed the girl scantily clad in her room.
The data showed that a Blink account had been created July 25 at about 11 p.m. and registered to the same email address Dean’s girlfriend had saved as his email address in her cellphone contact card for him.
The seized technology also showed that 211 videos had been deleted between July 25 and July 28, the affidavit says. The camera was allegedly tied to a WiFi network named “fun.”
Agents found a history of searches on Amazon for girls’ clothing, and a recent Amazon search for an adult sex toy on the desktop computer, the affidavit claims.
“The camera was aimed to capture (the girl’s) bed and intimate area without her knowledge,” says the document.
A police sergeant found Dean near the intersection of Village Drive and Cotton Creek Place on Aug. 18, and tried to perform a traffic stop on him, says the affidavit.
But Dean continued to his home instead and backed into his garage, then refused commands to exit the vehicle and called his attorney from inside the garage, the affidavit says.
His attorney reportedly directed him to surrender, and police “safely” took Dean into custody and had him booked into the Natrona County Detention Center.
One Charge Didn’t Make It
The affidavit says probable cause exists to show that Dean bought “suggestive clothing and an adult toy” for the girl, indicating “grooming.”
The case prosecutor at first charged Dean with third-degree sexual abuse of a minor, but that charge did not survive the probable cause test in the Casper Circuit Court.
Clair McFarland can be reached at Clair@CowboyStateDaily.com.