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UIC Swimmer Filmed 4 Female Athletes in Campus Locker Room, Prosecutors Say

By Erica Demarest | March 31, 2017 1:25pm | Updated on April 3, 2017 8:45am
 Joseph Dalesandro, 19, was ordered held on $50,000 bail Friday.
Joseph Dalesandro, 19, was ordered held on $50,000 bail Friday.
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DNAinfo; Chicago Police Department

COOK COUNTY CRIMINAL COURTHOUSE — A UIC freshman with a four-year swimming scholarship has been charged with illegally filming female teammates as they changed clothes in their locker room.

Joseph Dalesandro, 19, was ordered held on $50,000 bail Friday on allegations he filmed four women with an iPhone over the course of several hours Feb. 2.

According to prosecutors, locker rooms for men and women on the UIC swimming and diving teams are separated by a partition wall that has a gap between the top of the wall and the ceiling for a smoke detector.

Dalesandro is accused of perching his iPhone on the wall about 11 a.m. Feb. 2 and recording two women on the diving team, ages 19 and 20, as they changed clothes.

Dalesandro filmed the women for three minutes, prosecutors said, but later cropped the video to feature one minute of nudity.

About two hours later, Dalesandro filmed the women's locker room for 45 minutes — this time capturing two swimmers, ages 19 and 20, as they changed clothes, Assistant State's Attorney Joseph Carlson said during a bond hearing Friday.

One of the women heard laughter coming from the men's locker room and looked up, expecting the men to throw something over the wall, prosecutors said.

Instead, she spotted Dalesandro's phone, Carlson said. Two of the women retrieved the phone and brought it to their coach, who called campus police.

During the course of their investigation, officers learned the phone was registered to Dalesandro and his mother, prosecutors said. Dalesandro was one of five men who had access to the locker room at the time of filming; his phone was also logged into the UIC wireless network with his username when the videos were made.

Police on Thursday arrested Dalesandro, who lives on campus and comes from Naperville. He confessed to making the videos and "stated he knew what he had done was illegal," Carlson said.

In court Friday, Assistant Public Defender Marc Davidson noted that the videos Dalesandro recorded were never disseminated, and that Dalesandro has no prior criminal history.

"This was a prank," Davidson said. "A tasteless prank that went nowhere. ... This will cost him dearly over the years."

Davidson went on to say that Dalesandro is a UIC freshman with a four-year swimming scholarship who lives in campus housing.

Cook County Judge Laura Sullivan on Friday said Dalesandro is not allowed to return to UIC while his felony case is pending. Bail was set at $50,000.

Dalesandro could face disciplinary action from the school as well.

UIC spokeswoman Sherri McGinnis Gonzalez on Friday confirmed Dalesandro's enrollment but said she couldn't talk about his specific case.

"In cases where a student faces criminal charges, they may also be subject to the Student Conduct Process that is outlined in the Student Disciplinary Policy," she said.