CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Accused voyeur may have followed kids for weeks, police say

Jun 7, 2023, 8:51 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 9:51 am

SALT LAKE CITY —The Seasons at Pebble Creek apartment complex may be busy with families and kids coming and going, but what April Alcala said she and her mother saw Monday was strange.

“I mean, he kind of looked homeless, so, what is he doing here? You know?” she questioned. She described the disheveled-looking man as loitering around and hanging out. “It was just weird and out of place for him to be here.”

April said her mother told her to stay inside and stay away from the weird man who was roaming around their area of the complex.

But then they’d find him at their doorstep.

“A few moments later, he knocked at our door– but my mom thought that it was our aunt, so that’s why she opened the door,” April explained. “He didn’t really do anything. He was just standing there. He didn’t say anything.”

Her mom shut the door on him, and they noticed he went and sat down.

The next day, they found out a man was arrested at their apartment complex less than two hours after their interaction.

“That was kind of shocking to hear,” April said.

According to Salt Lake City Police, 33-year-old Nicholas Jacob Muenchow followed three siblings, a 6-year-old boy, a 10-year-old girl, and a 12-year-old girl, earlier that afternoon as they walked home from school.

Upon arriving and investigating, police believe Muenchow had been following these children for the past two weeks. They found him near the apartment complex and took him into custody on charges including child voyeurism.

They were able to identify him, the booking report stated, because one of the children took a picture of Muenchow against the window.

“This individual followed these children home and then was peering through their window, where they do have a reasonable expectation of privacy. And at that point, it becomes against the law,” Beebe said.

According to Muenchow’s affidavit of probable cause, Muenchow has “approached juveniles on multiple occasions,” and “has previously conducted [himself] in suspicious and lewd ways in multiple jurisdictions over the last year, all with the behavior increasing.”

One instance listed in the document includes allegedly following a woman he didn’t know into her workplace while asking her vulgar, inappropriate questions.

In October, he was accused of “walking around the Pioneer Park area with his genitals exposed,” according to the affidavit of probable cause in that case.

At that time, the document stated that Muenchow “has been arrested 27 times according to Salt Lake City Police local contact history since May 2022.”

Since October, Muenchow has been arrested many more times.

In another case from August, Muenchow allegedly entered a vehicle with a pregnant woman inside, frightening her, and also allegedly followed another victim around and attempted to steal from him.

Also in August, police arrested Muenchow in South Salt Lake after receiving several calls at an apartment complex that a suspicious man was following a woman and her young children from their car to their apartment, and he tried to force himself into their apartment. Another person told police a man had tried to get in her vehicle in the same area, in what she described as a “terrifying encounter,” but she was able to speed off.

A few days later in August, West Valley City Police responded to a home where the person told police Muenchow unlawfully entered, then put on the person’s clothes and stole their clothes.

He has been trespassed from numerous businesses from the Salt Lake County area up to Ogden for alleged theft and harassment of employees.

After hearing of Monday’s events with the three children, and a little bit about Muenchow’s history, April is glad that the children called 911 and that they’re okay.

“I have my siblings that are outside all the time and they like playing outside, and there’s a lot of kids here who also play,” she said. “So it’s really scary.”

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Accused voyeur may have followed kids for weeks, police say