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PORTAGE — A 20-year-old Portage man accused of secretly filming girls and women in the bathroom of the auto parts store where he worked, asked a judge Thursday whether he can still have contact with his son.

Adan Alvarado was told he could, but was ordered by Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford to have no contact with the four alleged victims as his criminal case proceeds.

Alvarado appeared for an initial hearing via an afternoon teleconferencing call between Bradford's court and the jail.

Pleas of not guilty were entered on Alvarado's behalf to felony counts of child exploitation, possession of child pornography and four counts of voyeurism.

Alvarado was told by the judge he faces up to six years behind bars on the first two charges and up to 2½ years each on the remaining four.

Alvarado was taken into custody Saturday afternoon after his cell phone was discovered by two girls using a bathroom at the O'Reilly Auto Parts store at 6100 Central Ave., where Alvarado worked, police said. The girls were on site for a Portage Junior Miss Softball car wash fundraiser.

Police said a video on the phone shot at 12:18 p.m. Saturday showed Alvarado placing the phone in position near the toilet. The two girls in question then enter the bathroom 15 minutes later with the first girl using the bathroom on video and the second making the discovering while partially disrobed.

Police said they also discovered videos on the phone shot in the same bathroom on May 29, June 5 and June 8. Those videos captured a couple of Alvarado's female coworkers, who he said were his intended target, police said.

Alvarado, who was found to have a small electronic camera in his possession, reportedly told police he "made a stupid decision/idea of putting my phone in the employee's bathroom."

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"Adan said he did not know why he did it, it just 'happened' but he did not mean for younger girls to go in and see the cellular telephone or be recorded," according to charging information.

Police said Alvarado directed the two young girls to the bathroom.

"Adan said he has watched videos like that before and thought, 'Oh that'd be cool,'" police said.

Alvarado was awarded the services of a public defender after convincing Bradford he did not have the resources to hire a private defense attorney.

He has a $2,000 cash bond.

Future hearings in the case were set for Sept. 16 and Oct. 7.

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Porter/LaPorte County Courts and Social Justice Reporter

Bob is a 23-year veteran of The Times. He covers county government and courts in Porter County, federal courts, police news and regional issues. He also created the Vegan in the Region blog, is an Indiana University grad and lifelong region resident.