Cal Poly Army official charged with placing a hidden camera in a dressing room

The head of Cal Poly’s Military Science Department is facing charges, accusing of placing a hidden camera in a dressing room at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets.

The investigation involving Jacob Sweatland began last year. Pismo Beach Police said officers responding to reports of a hidden camera device inside a store at the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets on Sept. 2, 2022.

Two days later, officers were called out again after police said a man was identified as Sweatland went to the store looking for a device he said he had left behind.

Police described the camera-like device as similar in size to a key fob.

They say once the now 40-year-old suspect arrived at the store, he ran from officers but was arrested a short time later.

“I think it’s a horrible thing to happen and definitely everybody should check before they go in,” said shopper Tom Kosinski.

“I’m like appalled that, you know, the dressing room now isn’t safe,” said shopper Toni Stradi. “You know, it’s like you go in to try clothes and now somebody might be watching you and looking at you, and it’s so, it’s kind of scary. It’s very creepy.”

Cal Poly spokesperson Matt Lazier confirmed Sweatland is the head of the university’s Military Science Department.

“Sweatland has not been on campus teaching classes or interacting with students at Cal Poly pending his criminal proceedings,” Lazier said in a statement to KSBY. “Additionally, we must clarify that the Military Science Department head position is appointed to Cal Poly by the Army.”

Court documents show Sweatland is facing misdemeanor charges of invasion of privacy and obstructing a peace officer.

KSBY News reached out to the Pismo Beach Premium Outlets and the Army but neither has issued a response.

KSBY also reached out to Sweatland’s attorney, Ilan Funke-Bilu, who issued a statement, saying, “I appreciate your giving me an opportunity to say a few words on behalf of Lt. Col. Sweatland. My client is an American hero who has dedicated his life to serving our country. He has undertaken 4 deployments including in Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia and Syria. My client has suffered physically and mentally as a direct result of his service to his country which, unfortunately led directly to his facing misdemeanor charges in our county. It is an honor for me to represent this American. I am confident that, upon considering all of the facts, Lt. Col. Sweatland’s result will be just and compassionate. He deserves no less.”

Sweatland is set to appear in court on Feb. 17, 2023, for a military deviation eligibility hearing.

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