Suspected "Peeping Tom" has criminal history - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Suspected "Peeping Tom" has criminal history

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB)--The man accused of taking pictures of a woman under a bathroom stall has a disturbing criminal history. The WDRB.com Web team, Photographer Matt English and Reporter Stephan Johnson have uncovered even more about Abelardo Chavez.

We now know Chavez has been arrested before for sex crimes. And we've obtained video that appears to show him preying on unsuspecting women.

Twenty-six-year-old Chavez is already in jail accused of following a woman into the bathroom of the Thornton's gas station on Fern Valley Road in September. Police say he tried to take pictures under the stall with his cell phone. But the woman realized what was happening and called 911.

Shocking -- but one woman is not surprised.

"On this day he went through three different females before he -- I would say assaulted someone," said Michelle Tucker, a loss prevention associate at Value City.

Tucker says she caught Chavez in the act a few years ago. "He actually rubbed himself onto the backside of a female."

In 2007, Chavez was arrested at what used to be the Value City on Preston Highway for inappropriate contact with at least two women.  "And then he moved on to the lingerie department to another female and he actually licked her backside," Tucker said.

We have surveillance video that appears to show Chavez doing exactly what Tucker says. Even more surprising? The victims don't even realize it's happening.  "We normally encounter people stealing merchandise, not ... assaulting women."

Tucker immediately contacted police who arrived a short time later. "There was a confrontation, they arrested him, put him on the ground," Tucker said.

And there's more: Chavez was not empty handed.  "He had ruined ... some merchandise in the process and refused to pay for that so they charged him with shoplifting also," Tucker said.

Chavez was eventually convicted of sexual abuse and served a short sentence. But Tucker thinks Value City and Thornton's are just two of many places Chavez has used to target women.

"You know, this woman paid attention and knew what was going on, Tucker said. "But how many women didn't know what was going on?"

Chavez remains in custody at Metro Corrections.

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