Hidden Camera Found in Rock Creek Bathroom
In October 2016, a student entered a gender neutral restroom and stumbled upon a camera hidden underneath a sink that was pointed in the direction of the toilet. The student reported the camera to campus security and the camera was immediately removed. The local authorities were notified.
Upon further investigation, the camera was traced back to Matthew Constantino, a Rock Creek Professor of Geography. He was immediately placed on paid leave.
”The entire investigation was conducted in a way that protected the victims and their families by not disclosing their identities…”
Joe Riedl was one of many PCC students and faculty stunned by the dismissal and investigation of geography professor Constantino after the discovery of the camera. After the camera was linked to Constantino, the police conducted an investigation of his home in Scappoose, and discovered many upskirt videos as well.
“I’m in my second year and my major is Environmental Science, although it was originally geography. My degree has changed, but my love for geography hasn’t, and that’s because of Mr. Constantino, or ‘Matt’ as he insisted on being called.”
Even though the arrest came as a surprise to many, some had their suspicion. According to an interview conducted by KOIN 6 News, with Deputy Mike Polvony of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Polvony states, “Pretty early on we had a good idea who was responsible for this.”
Former student Britney Villela said:
“I think this is vile and disgusting, how did he even get the job? This is an area where they do background checks, and he got through? I was considering going back, but I’m now afraid to use a restroom there. This is a wake-up call for not just PCC, but for all of us.”
Although many staff refused to comment, it was generally known that Constantino was well liked by his students.
“To my friends I described his class as a two-hour long Ted Talk, each week a new boring topic that he managed to make quite captivating.”
On the website RateMyProfessor, he had scored a 4.4 out of 5; the comment section overflowed with praise. His profile on the website has been taken down since the arrest.
“I took his Human Geography class last Spring, “ continued Riedl. “It was a packed class and not a single person was bored. To my friends I described his class as a two-hour long TED Talk, each week a new boring topic that he managed to make quite captivating. He was smart, but not intimidating. You could talk to him, his intelligence resonating, without feeling dumb. When I first read the story I was shocked to see his name. I couldn’t believe it. No one wins here. It’s just a sad situation all around, made even sadder when you realize that the sanctity of the all-gender bathroom was abused.”
Due to the case being filed as Title 9, the entire investigation was conducted in a way that protected the victims and their families by not disclosing their identities; it is also unknown which bathroom the camera was hidden in. All victims who were recognizable were notified, and are seeking legal action outside of the PCC investigation.
Constantino is facing an Invasion of Personal Privacy charge which is punishable with up to a year in jail and a fine.
Although Riedl and Villela’s reactions to the news were different in tone and motivation, when both were interviewed they ended on the same note: “PCC can use this as a way to open up discussion about sexual assault, abuse, and harassment. Also, how will PCC ensure that this won’t happen again?”