UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS (WCIA) — People are reacting after hearing about a professor who went into a public restroom while recording everything on video. It happened Monday night, during the Illinois basketball game at the State Farm Center.
Police say UI professor Jay Rosenstein admitted following former Chief Illinwek portrayer Ivan Dozier into the restroom. Police say he broke the law, but no charges are being filed.
State’s Attorney Julia Rietz doesn’t deny something happened, but says she doesn’t want to get in the middle of a public controversy.
What happened has people questioning why. Illini fans were enjoying the game. Members of the Honor the Chief Society were walking around the arena when they say they were approached by security.
Breelyn Fay was part of the group.
“The three of them were in the bathroom getting ready and I was standing outside, obviously being the female not allowed to go into the bathroom and I respect those boundaries. And, State Farm security came up to me and approached me and there was a man I recognized as Jay with his cellphone out filming. They said to me, ‘Are you with the chief?’ I said, ‘Yes, I am.’ They said they were going to be walking with this person because he’s going to be loud and obnoxious or something to that effect that he is going to cause trouble and they knew it.”
Dozier went into the restroom to avoid the professor, but he says Rosenstein followed him.
“When I was done at the urinal, went over to head to the sink. There’s Jay Rosenstein with his phone still out rolling. I think he said, ‘Hello Ivan, I thought I’d find you here.’ I didn’t know what to say. My first thought was, is, he’s trying to catch me with my pants down or something?”
Police say they arrested Rosenstein because he admitted filming Dozier in the public restroom.
“I guess, if I had to say how I felt, it would be violated.”
But, there are no charges.
Rietz says, “The criminal justice system is not the place to gain an advantage for one side or the other on a public debate.”
Dozier says he’s disappointed, but not surprised.
“We’re going to keep having this problem. You’re going to keep calling me for interviews every six months. The next time they pull a stunt like this and it’s not going to stop unless the administration does something.”
Rosenstein released a statement:
I am a nationally recognized and international award winning documentary filmmaker and investigative journalist. I believe I was wrongfully detained because of my efforts to investigate whether employees of the State Farm Center are taking an active role in facilitating the appearance of the unapproved Chief Illiniwek.
Chief Illiniwek was retired in 2007, but the Honor the Chief Society has continued dressing in unofficial regalia for years.
The UI released this statement:
Media and Cinema Studies Prof. Rosenstein allegedly admitted to videotaping a person in a public restroom and was arrested by UIPD on unauthorized videotaping charges. If the allegations against Prof. Rosenstein are accurate, they do not comport with the university’s Code of Conduct. Video recording of individuals in a public restroom without permission is an unacceptable violation of personal privacy under any circumstances. Prof. Rosenstein is being placed on paid administrative leave pending an investigation into this allegation. We will not comment publicly on the details of the investigation, but the outcome of that process once it is completed is likely to be considered by law public information.