Friday, November 21, 2003

Legislative counsel charged in 'naked photographer' case

The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Police said they think they caught the man who has become known as the "naked photographer" by ambushing women in the nude and taking photos of their shocked expressions.

Stephen P. Linnen, 32, of Columbus, was charged with public indecency and assault. He posted bond Wednesday but was re-arrested Thursday by in Gahanna and charged with felony counts of kidnapping and gross sexual imposition, officials said.

Linnen is deputy legal counsel for House Speaker Larry Householder, a Glenford Republican.

Police say the "naked photographer" has struck 39 times, often wearing nothing but a baseball cap and a smile.

Columbus and Gahanna police searched Linnen's apartment Thursday and found incriminating photographs, said Gahanna Police Lt. Jeff Spence.

Linnen approached at least two women Wednesday without clothes on, police said. He was arrested when police spotted him naked in an alley near where a woman reported being confronted, said Columbus police spokeswoman Sherry Mercurio.

Linnen pushed the woman before she ran off, Mercurio said.

Police found a camera, stocking cap and sunglasses stashed by a nearby garbage bin.

Earlier Wednesday, a woman said she was getting out of her car on the city's northwest side when she was approached by a naked man. She said he snapped her picture and ran away.

Police think he kept the pictures as souvenirs.

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