Cleves man arrested for voyeurism after looking at young boy in Target restroom

Published: Sep. 8, 2014 at 7:16 AM EDT
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Mark Klapper (Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)
Mark Klapper (Photo: Hamilton County Sheriff's Office)

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A Cleves man is facing voyeurism charges after an alleged incident inside a west side Target store.

According to Hamilton County court documents, Mark Klapper, 36, was arrested for looking at a 4-year-old boy's private parts in a Target bathroom Saturday.

Police say Klapper followed the 4-year old boy into a restroom inside the store and stood at the urinal next to him in an effort to see the child's genitals.  Court records allege Klapper did this to "sexually gratify himself."

The victim immediately told his father what happened.  Police say the suspect fled from the scene, and refused to stop for police when a chase ensued.  According to the arrest report, police say Klapper was caught across the street from the store, and upon further questioning, is said to have told police, "I'm sorry I was wrong."

"It's really upsetting and unfortunate," said Nicole Walters, a Target shopper.

Those are just two ways to describe what police say Klapper did inside the store's restroom on Saturday.

"I know you don't think it's going to happen.  Everyone says it's not going to happen to their child, but unfortunately, it does.  I've seen it," Walters said.

Walters makes a living in the retail business.  She's seen these types of situations happen before.

"They shop not just for clothes, but they come in there and they get that rush either from being looking at little kids or shoplifting or anything else," said shopper Jason Cox.

Frankly, this incident at Target comes as no surprise to Cox, and he's not alone.

"We really have to be aware, and we really have to be looking out for our children, our own children as well as for other children, and be aware that there are predators walking around who don't have our children's best interest in mind," said Paula Felps, founder of the Sexual Abuse Resource Network in Cincinnati.

Felps' organization deals with sexual abuse, and helping victims.

"If we don't make this something we're going to talk about and rise up against, and say, 'Look, we're not going to take this,' then predators and pedophiles have that opportunity to just continue what they've always been doing," Felps told FOX19 NOW.

Klapper has a lengthy history of sexual-related crimes, and has served prison time.  He's also listed as a sexual predator.

But, FOX19 NOW's legal analyst, Mike Allen, says longer prison sentences likely won't work for repeat offenders, but maybe a good idea would be to address the problem psychologically, though it's not something he's seen happen quite yet.

"In some cases, pedophilia being one of them, the urge is so strong, that the fact that they're already registered as a sex predator, isn't going to make any difference.  It's not going to stop that urge," said Allen.

Klapper is due in court on Monday.  He's facing charges of voyeurism and obstructing official business

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