PARK RIDGE, Ill. — A custodian at a Park Ridge elementary school is facing charges after a cellphone was found recording staff members in the restroom.

Luis Rubio-Ortega, 37, was charged with felony unlawful video recording. Police said that on May 27, a female staff member at Washington Elementary School was using the restroom when she noticed a cellphone near the toilet with the video camera in recording mode.

Park Ridge police were notified and an investigation was conducted with the cooperation of School District 64.

According to police, the investigation revealed the cellphone was placed there by Rubio-Ortega, who was an employed custodian at the school.

He admitted to placing the phone in the restroom during an interview with detectives on Wednesday, for the purpose of recording female employees.

In a letter sent out to parents Friday morning, District 64 Supt. Eric Olsen said two staff members were recorded, and that those employees have been contacted by law enforcement.

Rubio-Ortega has been placed on administrative leave by the school district.

Read Olsen’s full letter to parents below:

I am writing to inform you of a troubling incident that occurred at the end of the 2021-2022 school year at Washington School.  Please know that we would have communicated with you before now, but unfortunately could not do so at the direction of law enforcement because of the ongoing criminal investigation.  

At the end of last school year, a cell phone was found in a staff bathroom at Washington, and the phone was recording.  The Park Ridge Police Department was immediately notified, and an investigation commenced. The District has been fully cooperating with law enforcement throughout the investigation.
 
We were notified on August 18th that a District employee, Louis Rubio-Ortega, was arrested by the Park Ridge Police Department and was charged with two felony counts of unlawful recording inside a bathroom. This crime did not involve the recording of students.  However, two staff members were recorded in a staff bathroom, and those individuals have been contacted by law enforcement.  As a result of the arrest, Rubio-Ortega has been placed on administrative leave. The District will continue to cooperate with the PRPD, and we will keep you updated on any further developments if warranted.
 
We understand that this news is very concerning. Please know the safety and security of our students, staff, and schools is and will always be our top priority.  As with all districts, we conduct fingerprint-based criminal background checks and cross-referencing of state and national sexual and violent offender registries as a part of our pre-employment process. Thank you to the Park Ridge Police Department and our staff for their collaboration in this investigation.

Dr. Eric Olson
Superintendent