A Columbus, Ohio Target Employee has been arrested after allegedly filming a 12-year-old boy, as well as other customers, in the store’s bathroom stalls.
Police arrested the man after being called by the boy’s mother, who told officers that her son informed her of seeing a man hold a phone underneath a divider in the men’s bathroom. Video surveillance confirmed the employee Matthew Lively, 31, followed the boy into the bathroom and left after the young boy exited.
Lively not only told police that he did indeed record the boy in the bathroom, but also confessed to recording other customers as well.
His phone was seized by police, who are working on identifying the others recorded on his device.
Columbus police officer Kelly Shay has commended the boy’s courage in speaking out about the incident, encouraging others, “When someone is in danger or doing something that hurts another person, it’s important to tell because you’re not snitching, you’re helping. You’re helping keep that from happening to the next person.”
He also stressed to parents the importance of keeping children aware of “inappropriate behavior” and making sure they understand their rights to “private space” that no one else has the right to abuse through photography or video.
Lively has been charged with a second-degree felony count, an Illegal use of a minor in nudity-oriented material, which prosecutors expect to be the first charge of many. He could potentially spend up to eight years in prison for these crimes.
On December 14th, Lively’s bond was set for $150,000.
The following statement was released by Target’s Corporation regarding the incident.
At Target, our guests are at the center of everything we do and our commitment to creating a safe and secure shopping environment in our stores is unwavering. As a part [of] this commitment to safety, we have robust procedures, policies and training in place to ensure that our stores are safe places to shop and work.
Target is fully cooperating with law enforcement in this case. As this is an active investigation, please contact local law enforcement with further questions.
Regarding your question around employment at Target: I’m unable to share details on employment due to confidentiality.
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