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Former island editor sentenced to jail for video voyeurism

By Staff | Oct 19, 2018

David R. Staver

A man with former ties to a Sanibel-Captiva news source has been found guilty of multiple sex offenses and sentenced to a month in jail and three years worth of probation.

David Robert Staver, 68, of 4179 Fox Run Road, Vincennes, Indiana, pled no contest on Sept. 24 to three counts of video voyeurism 19 years of age or older and marijuana possess not more than 20 grams.

“The two cases were combined for the plea agreement,” Samantha Syoen, spokeswoman for the State Attorney’s Office, said on Oct. 8. “He was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 31 days in the Lee County Jail, followed by 36 months of probation.”

Staver must provide a DNA sample to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s database.

He was also ordered to pay restitution, along with court fees and costs.

“While on probation he must follow all therapist recommendations related to sex addiction treatment and counseling and is not permitted to have contact with any of the victims,” she said. “He also may not possess a camera or electronic device with picture or video capabilities outside the home.”

Prior to the incident that led to the charges, Staver was the Santiva Chronicle editor.

On March 1, Sanibel police responded to The Community House, where the Annual Sanibel Shell Festival was going on, about a man putting his phone under a younger female’s skirt and taking photos. Upon arrival, the responding officers located the alleged victim and man, later identified as Staver.

The woman told police that she was walking around the festival with her two children and mother. When they stopped at a table containing sharks teeth, one caught her eye and she leaned over to look closer. As she did, her mother saw Staver put his phone under her skirt and appear to take a photo.

She said her mother immediately said something to Staver, at which point he quickly headed for the exit. They followed after him, yelling for someone to call the police. Once outside, a traffic aide at the crosswalk noticed the commotion and stopped Staver and the women until the police could respond.

Police inspected his phone and “observed multiple pictures and videos of the victim,” with the videos getting closer and closer to the victim, before finally capturing under her skirt, according to reports.

The following day, a search warrant was executed at the home where Staver was living. His laptop, another cell phone, camera and other items were seized as evidence and for a forensic analysis.

According to the documents, police also found drug paraphernalia and marijuana in his room.

On March 20, police completed a forensic analysis of the contents on Staver’s computer.

“I observed hundreds to thousands of videos and pictures of up women’s skirts that David (Staver) had taken,” police wrote. “You know it is David (Staver) taking the picture/videos because his face is in them as he takes them.”

There was also video and photos of women in shorts and jeans, focused in on certain areas.

Police identified one victim in at least over 300 videos. According to documents, she was asked to come down to the police department the following day about the findings. When police revealed what they had found, they asked if she would like to prosecute. The women declined to file any charges.

A second victim identified in a video and photos was also contacted. She agreed to prosecute.

The woman also provided a sworn statement that Staver told her about the festival incident after she questioned him about a camera that she had been looking for. At a later time, the woman “heard David say that his son deleted everything from the computer located at his property in Vincennes, Indiana.”

In her statement, the victim told police that Staver “always had his cell phone in his hands and she never knew he was taking so many videos.” She stated that she could not believe that he was able to take videos of her and that she felt “violated and embarrassed.”