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Iowa City boss accused of recording employee pumping breast milk

Robert Carlson, 67, charged with 22 counts of invasion of privacy after police say an employee...
Robert Carlson, 67, charged with 22 counts of invasion of privacy after police say an employee caught him recording her pumping breast milk at work.(KCRG)
Published: Jun. 28, 2019 at 10:44 AM CDT
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The owner of an Iowa City architecture firm recorded an employee pumping breast milk at least 22 times, according to criminal complaints.

Robert Carlson, 67, is charged with 22 counts of invasion of privacy when Iowa City police arrested him Thursday.

According to criminal complaints, the woman found a recording device as she was pumping breast milk at Carlson Design Associates last December. Police searched Carlson's home and office and seized electronic devices that contained 22 separate videos of the woman pumping breast milk.

During an interview with investigators, Carlson said he found the woman beautiful and "wanted to see what was underneath the victim's blouse or shirt", the complaint states.

The woman, Jessica Clark, filed a lawsuit against Carlson and his company in May. That lawsuit details that Clark started working at the office in June of 2010, after interning there.

The lawsuit says Clark used the office conference room to pump breast milk after returning from maternity leave for both of her children, most recently in April of 2018.

The lawsuit claims Carlson would frequently be in the conference room right before Clark had it reserved for her pumping session.

On December 18, 2018, Clark said she had a strange feeling and noticed a tan portfolio with a pen sticking out. She discovered the pen was a hidden camera device and was able to plug it in to a tablet where she saw a video of herself pumping breast milk. The lawsuit says she took the pen and contacted police.

The lawsuit claims the company ended Jessica's employment that same day.