Prosser man faces trial for allegedly filming teen girls

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldApril 2, 2013 

A Prosser man is on trial for allegedly using a hidden camera to film three teen girls changing after getting out of a hot tub.

And though Kelly Dean Ledgerwood's voyeurism case could be resolved Wednesday, the 55-year-old still faces another trial next month on separate charges he threatened to kill an exotic dancer when she refused to perform sexual acts.

Ledgerwood has denied doing anything wrong in either case.

His current trial in Benton County Superior Court is for three counts of voyeurism. One count includes the aggravating circumstance that Ledgerwood used his position of trust to commit the crime.

A jury was seated Monday afternoon and spent Tuesday listening to evidence and testimony from both sides. Deputy Prosecutor Anita Petra and defense attorney Scott Johnson are expected to give closing arguments this morning.

Court documents filed by Petra allege three teens had been in the hot tub at a Prosser home May 21 when they went to a bedroom to get dressed.

One of the teens noticed a camera sitting on a nearby shelf. A bag was over it with a hole cut out for the lens. She pointed it out to the other girls, and they ended up watching the 17-minute recording before notifying authorities, documents said.

Ledgerwood allegedly can be seen on the video setting up the camera. The video also reportedly shows at least one of the girls topless while changing her clothes.

Ledgerwood, who testified in his trial, admitted to setting up the camera and turning it on, but denied that he taped the teens so he could get aroused.

He was out of custody awaiting trial on the voyeurism charges when prosecutors say he hired an exotic dancer for a bachelor party. But when the 20-year-old woman arrived at Ledgerwood's Easy Street home on Dec. 23, he was the only person there. He claimed the other men had left.

Ledgerwood handed over $250 in 12 $20 bills and one $10 bill, court documents said. The dancer put two $20s in her wallet for her driver and stashed the rest in her purse before changing her clothes in the bathroom.

She was only about one minute into her dance routine for Ledgerwood in the living room when he "began to say comments to her about performing sexual acts," documents said. The woman said she was only there to dance.

Ledgerwood then allegedly called her a "whore," said he wanted his money back and started walking toward the bathroom to get her belongings. She was able to get past him, but Ledgerwood grabbed her hair and pulled her back so he could go through her purse, court documents said.

The two were struggling over the purse when prosecutors allege Ledgerwood told the dancer: "You know what I could do right now. I'm packing. I'll (expletive) kill you, you (expletive) whore."

He then began to strangle her with his hands, documents said. The victim later told Prosser police that she was unable to break free from his grip and could feel her head throbbing, got light headed, was short of breath and could not talk.

When Ledgerwood removed one hand from her neck, the dancer took the opportunity to say she was sorry and told him to take the money, court documents said. He got the cash out of her purse, told her "she was lucky because he has a gun and can shoot straight" and stepped back so the woman could pick up her belongings and leave, documents said.

When she got outside to her driver, she called police.

After getting a search warrant, officers reportedly found his pants on the bedroom floor with $210 in the pockets. They also seized a pistol on the kitchen counter, a shotgun in the hall closet and two more pistols in another closet, documents said.

Ledgerwood initially told police the woman had come to his door asking to use the bathroom, then changed the story to say he'd hired her for a massage and she tried "upping" him, court documents said. He also said officers wouldn't find any evidence in his house.

A prepaid cellphone was found outside the home near a shed.

The phone was used to call the dancer, documents said.

Ledgerwood is charged in this case with second-degree assault, unlawful imprisonment and felony harassment. That trial is scheduled for May 20.

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