Restroom cell phone suspect served as minister at Livingston church

Nathan Kesler mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.
Nathan Kesler mug shot courtesy of Angelina County Jail.

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - By Morgan Thomas - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) –  Lufkin police have arrested a Livingston church music minister after investigating a complaint from his co-workers at a Lufkin retail store.

"An employee came to us on October 9th and brought the phone to us and said she found it in the female restroom at the Dollar King," said Detective J.B. Smith, Lufkin PD.

According to a police report, an officer arrested Nathan Scott Kesler, 35, of Livingston at Dollar King, located at 501 S. Timberland Drive, in connection to a complaint that he had been using a cell phone in a female restroom to record activity.

The woman said she had used the restroom and noticed the phone on a shelf positioned in such a way that it would record her with the built-in camera. The woman said she left the restroom and was approached by another female employee who said she saw the phone in the restroom.

The woman told police she then saw Kesler, who was a manager at the store, go into the restroom and lock the door, then leave the restroom. The woman then went back into the restroom and saw that the phone had been repositioned.

Police detectives obtained a search warrant which authorized them to search the content of the phone.

"It was using an application on the phone that treated the camera as a motion activated camera when it sensed motion it captured an image - several images in a row - of the person in the room," said Smith.

After an interview with Kesler, detectives used search warrants to search Kesler's e-mail accounts and found multiple images from the restroom. The images show two female employees and a child in the restroom, and Kesler placing the phone in the restroom, according to the report.

On Wednesday, detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Kesler and a search warrant to seize any and all electronic evidence from the home and vehicles of Kesler.

A police officer arrested Kesler at 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at Dollar King.  He was booked into the Angelina County Jail on three counts of improper photography. A detective also seized two laptops from Kesler's property.

Police continue to investigate the incident in an attempt to identify the child victims and any other victims of other crimes.

Kesler is listed as the music minister for a church in Livingston. A call to the church's pastor for comment was not immediately returned Thursday afternoon.

Employees at Dollar King would not comment on the situation, but women at the shopping center where the store is located said it made them leery.

"I think any woman should always watch her surroundings, should always be mindful of everything that's around her," said Brenda Holt.

"He needs to go down and register as a sex offender because that's what he is," said Carlita Pegues.

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