LAFAYETTE, Ind.– A former Lafayette pastor was arrested and charged Friday in connection with secretly recording women in a church’s restroom.
Robert Lyzenga had been the pastor at Sunrise Christian Reformed Church since 2002.
Lyzenga was originally arrested last May after a congregation member found a camera in a bathroom. According to court documents, the woman noticed “an air freshener had come off the door and she saw there was a camera inside.”
The woman then checked the next stall and discovered “another air freshener inside the door and found a second camera inside of that one.”
The cameras were immediately turned over to police. The videos show the cameras were turned on in Lyzenga’s office before they were placed inside the bathroom.
After a yearlong investigation, Lyzenga has now been charged with several felonies.
“It’s tough and it’s emotional,” said church elder Matt DeYoung. “We were devastated. We had no expectation of any such thing.”
There are recordings of at least 10 victims, five of which are children. Fox 59 learned there could be even more victims.
“It’s hard to say they’re doing great,” said DeYoung. “It’s like a divorce or a death in the family and it comes and goes and it’s a process of recovery.”
That recovery will take some time. While DeYoung said church leaders are ready to forgive, the congregation is still split on whether it is ready to.
“(There are) some who are impatiently eager to see everything forgiven and some who are hurt more deeply and still suffering,” said DeYoung.