Kansas City Star


A man accused of secretly photographing and recording women in vulnerable positions also sexually assaulted women on video, according to police in Oklahoma.

Detectives with the Tulsa Police Department’s Special Victims Unit said they began an investigation on Sept. 8, 2022, after a man took photos of a 17-year-old girl as she was leaning over to vacuum a vehicle at a car wash.

Then in January, a man was accused of recording a woman as she used the restroom at a gas station, according to a Nov. 16 Facebook post from police.

Brandon Ortiz-Varela was identified as a suspect in both Peeping Tom cases, authorities said.

Police executed a search warrant at his apartment in February and took his phone as evidence, according to the news release.

“Digital evidence from the phone revealed a multitude of sex crimes, including child pornography and numerous Peeping Tom recordings,” police said. “There were also two videos of the suspect sexually assaulting women who were asleep and/or unconscious (at) the time.”

Ortiz-Varela was charged in early November, police said, and officers tried to arrest him while he was working at a restaurant.

He tried running away but was caught and arrested a few blocks away from his workplace, according to the release.

Ortiz-Varela is charged with three counts of Peeping Tom with photographic/electronic equipment, three counts of sexual battery, one count of rape by instrumentation and one count of manufacturing child pornography, police said.

An investigation is ongoing, according to the release. If you believe you may be a victim, authorities ask you to call the Tulsa Police Special Victims Unit at 918-596-9168.

If you have experienced sexual assault and need someone to talk to, call the National Sexual Assault Hotline for support at 1-800-656-4673 or visit the hotline’s online chatroom.

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