Former bank employee accused of upskirting customers, employee
A former Dartmouth bank employee and Westport town official is facing charges of secretly taking photos and video up women's skirts at the Citizens Bank on Dartmouth Street in a practice known as "upskirting."
William D. Raus, 55, of Westport, faces two charges of photographing sexual or intimate parts without consent, and one charge of photographing sexual or intimate parts of a child. He is accused of using his cell phone camera to secretly take photos and video up the skirts and dresses of two bank customers and a co-worker, according to court documents.
Dartmouth police began investigating Raus on August 31 after police received a call from a woman who alleged a man she identified as “Bill the Banker,” later identified as Raus, had taken pictures up her daughter’s dress. The woman’s daughter then called police and alleged that she was at the bank dropping off a deposit for her employer when Raus approached her while carrying his lunch bag.
She alleged Raus began talking to her while standing close to her, which made her feel uncomfortable. She said she saw a cell phone sticking out from the lunch bag, which was located near her legs.
After obtaining surveillance footage from the bank which showed the suspicious activity, Dartmouth police went to the bank and took Raus’s phone as evidence. During an interview with police, Raus allegedly told police he did approach the woman with his lunch bag and cell phone, and said “I might have had it taping, I’m not positive,” according to court records. He then allegedly admitted to police he recorded video and intended to view it at a later time, and that he has recorded such video multiple times.
Several days later, police received another report of an alleged upskirting incident. A bank customer told police that a bank employee helped her and her 17-year-old daughter open a checking account on August 26. She said that while they were in the employee’s office, the bank employee appeared to be fidgeting with his cell phone, which was on his lap, she said in a statement included in court records.
The woman did not know the name of the employee, but court records state the description matched that of Raus.
Later that week, a female bank employee told police she had more than 10 incidents at the bank over the past year and a half in which Raus had allegedly attempted to record her. In a statement included in court documents, she said she would see Raus’s lunchbox “with his phone facing out on numerous occasions in places where they shouldn’t be,” and stated she stopped wearing dresses to work when Raus was scheduled to work. She did not previously report the incidents because she feared losing her job, she said in her statement.
Raus was a member of the Westport Planning Board and Community Preservation Committee. Raus resigned from both committees, according to the meeting minutes of the Planning Board's September 19 meeting.
Raus is due in court on December 8 for a pretrial hearing. He is being represented by attorney J.W. Carney, Jr, who has represented a number of high-profile clients including James "Whitey" Bulger.