OLIVIA — An Olivia man accused of filming multiple women showering without their knowledge at his hog farm in rural Olivia appeared before Minnesota Eighth Judicial District Judge Laurence Stratton Monday.
Nicholas William Steffel, 27, faces six gross misdemeanor charges of interference with privacy after law enforcement found six videos of women he allegedly filmed in the nude through a window in the shower of his farm, according to the complaint.
Steffel was booked in the Renville County Jail and then released after booking. He is ordered to have no contact with the alleged victims and to remain law-abiding.
His next court appearance is set for Aug. 30.
In March, investigators found a total of 23 videos and 104 still images recorded between Oct. 30, 2016, and Dec. 12, 2019.
The six videos for which Steffel is facing charges were recorded between July 23, 2018, and Dec. 12, 2019.
The 17 videos recorded between Oct. 23, 2016, and April 22, 2018, fall outside of the applicable statute of limitations for charging criminal offenses, according to the complaint.
According to the complaint, an investigator with Renville County received a cyber tip from the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension about the sharing of a video by Steffel and a search warrant was issued to examine his iPhone and iPad.
All six women in the videos law enforcement found were identified and confirmed they were the women in the video and were at Steffel's hog barn at the time and date of the recordings.
"They did not know they were being recorded and did not give anyone permission to record them," reads part of the complaint.
According to the complaint, all six videos are of the women naked in the shower and the videos show that the recording is made through a window that looks down on the stall. The videos also show that while there are curtain rods, there are no curtains.
Entry into the hog barn is bio-controlled to prevent potential disease contamination and showering before entering and when leaving is required.
Steffel is also a former BOLD High School varsity wrestling coach.
Then-BOLD High School Principal James Menton told the West Central Tribune for a story published in May that Steffel is not currently employed at the school because his coaching contract was only over the winter and has to be renewed on an annual basis.
Menton, who has since been named the superintendent of the district, said at the time of the earlier story that he was not aware of any complaints against Steffel by any students, faculty or staff.