Hidden bathroom cameras, tip leads to arrest of CA dog trainer

The FBI has arrested a former high-tech worker and dog agility trainer from Shingle Springs, charging him with child abuse and planting hidden cameras in the bathroom of his home to record young boys for a decade.

Terry Francis Le Clair, 64, was arrested by the FBI and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on Thursday. He is being held without bail and was scheduled to make his first court appearance before a federal magistrate judge Friday afternoon.

Jail records and the court calendar do not indicate whether he has an attorney.

In addition to the undercover videos, Le Clair is accused of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy while competing in a dog agility competition in Luxembourg in 2017, according to a 15-page criminal complaint and affidavit filed Friday morning in federal court in Sacramento. .

The investigation began in June after the alleged victim called the FBI’s National Threat Operations Center to report inappropriate behavior by Le Clair while the boy and his older brother were in Europe for a dog show, FBI Special Agent Scott Schofield said in an affidavit. .

The boy met Le Clair when he was 12, court documents say, and he wanted to be involved in dog agility training with his sister. The children’s mother took them to see Le Clair, described in court documents as a “well-known dog agility trainer,” who held a course at her property in Shingle Springs.

“When they arrived, Le Clair offered to let (the boy) lead one of Le Clair’s dogs on the course…” the affidavit said. “(The boy) did, and Le Clair told him he had real talent.

“Le Clair suggested starting dog agility training. (The boy) took to it quickly and enjoyed the training. Although his sister stopped training with Le Clair for a few months, (the boy) continued training.

The family was not charged for the lessons, and after nearly three years, Le Clair offered to accompany the boy to an international dog race in Luxembourg in July 2017.

“Le Clair believed (the boy) was capable enough to compete in this international meet,” the will says, and agreed to pay most of the cost of a two-week trip for the boy and his brother while they toured Europe.

After the competition, the trio ended up in Paris and were scheduled to return to the United States on July 21, 2017.

Two days before departure, the boys “decided they wanted to get drunk,” he said.

“The legal drinking age is much younger in Europe, and they reasoned that this might be their only chance before returning to the United States,” he said. “Le Clair overheard their conversation and told them that he would accompany them and pay for the drinks, but he would stay sober and make sure they got back to the hotel safely.”

At the bar, the boy told the FBI that Le Clair had bought him and his brother alcoholic drinks.

“He believed he had over 10 alcohol in his drink and, as far as he remembers, he finished his drink himself and finished what (his brother) couldn’t,” he said.

The boy immediately felt drunk and “didn’t remember the rest of that night clearly,” he said.

He recalled throwing up in the hotel, then undressing in the bathroom and sleeping in the tub with the shower.

The boy woke up naked in bed, the affidavit said.

“He didn’t usually sleep naked, and especially not when he was sharing a hotel room with other people,” she said. “However, his last memory of yesterday was lying naked in the bathroom, so it wasn’t a surprise to see that he wasn’t wearing any clothes.

“She put on her underwear and went to the bathroom. Le Clair was awake, sitting on her bed with her iPad.

The three then went to breakfast, where Le Clair began talking to the boys about masturbation, which he said made the 15-year-old “very uncomfortable”.

After dinner, Le Clair and his brother decided to go sightseeing while the boy stayed at the hotel to chat with friends back home via Snapchat. The boy borrowed Le Clair’s tablet to talk to his friend after he threw up on his cell phone and ruined it.

In doing so, he accidentally shot a series of photos showing the boy naked, including close-ups of his genitalia and an icon in some of which showed Le Clair’s hand touching his penis.

In shock, the boy texted his brother to tell him what he had found, and the two later went downstairs to the hotel to call their father and tell them to pretend nothing had happened until they got home. , – the statement says.

“(The father) said he would normally take the next flight to Paris to help (his children), but it was likely he would not be able to get to Paris before they left the next morning,” the affidavit said.

A week later, the boy’s mother confronted Le Clair at her home, and Le Clair “admitted to taking the pictures and told her he was going to delete them,” she said, adding, “During part of that discussion, she broke down in tears.”

After that, she left and neither she nor her son spoke to Le Clair again, saying the 15-year-old began having trouble at school after the trip and began experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

“He also struggled with self-harm,” she says.

After the FBI was called in in June, investigating agents discovered that Le Clair’s home had been used since 2017 for dog agility events involving minors.

The FBI searched Le Clair’s home Thursday, after Le Clair admitted to taking nude photos of the boy.

“Le Clair didn’t know why he took these photographs,” he says. “He said he had suffered a severe concussion prior to the trip, which caused him to be ‘stuck’ at times and had impaired judgment at times.

“He hit his head when he was in Luxembourg and it made things worse. He advised that bending down and standing upright caused these “hangover” times, and that cleaning up vomit from the hotel room floor caused this reaction that night.

Le Clair also admitted touching the naked boy’s body, “but claimed it was only to clean the vomit from his body,” he said, adding that Le Clair denied photographing the boy touching his genitals.

When agents searched Le Clair’s electronic devices, they discovered video files showing young men in her bathroom.

“Le Clair admitted to making these videos,” he says. “He advised that he had been making secret videos of men and boys for over a decade.

“He used two cameras disguised as writing pens and one camera disguised as a key fob for this purpose. Investigators placed these devices in Le Clair’s bedroom and in the bathroom where the videos described above were filmed. The key fob was found connected to the charger.”

Le Clair could face up to 30 years in prison (with a minimum of 15 years) and a $250,000 fine if convicted of child sexual abuse, according to the criminal complaint.

Sam Stanton has worked for The Bee since 1991 and covers a variety of topics including politics, criminal justice and breaking news.

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