EXCLUSIVE: Victims of video voyeurism crime say they forgive suspect

The victims of the video voyeurism crimes committed by a BYU-Idaho student say they forgive him and are asking the public to pray for him.

“He’s a really good person,” Kaytlin Grounds, one of the women who discovered the hidden camera, said. “He’s one of the most kind, loving people I know and he’s just struggling and, I just want people to know that we love him and we all forgive him.”

Devan MacCabe attended a court hearing Jan. 23rd, after police booked him in the Madison County Jail, Jan. 20. Police arrested him after he confessed to placing a hidden camera in a La Jolla apartment bathroom. He has been charged with felony video voyeurism, a charge that could result in up to five years imprisonment and $50,000 in fines, according to Idaho Code Ann. § 18-112

“I don’t know what drove him to do what he did,” Annaliese Kretchman, MacCabe’s former fiancé, posted on Facebook. “There is something very off in his brain. Even more than any of us realized. But what he did is not who he is. I know who he is. I see his potential. I see so much good in him.”

Rexburg Police say that MacCabe placed the camera in the bathroom on Dec. 19. Grounds said that the hidden camera was not actively recording during the whole month.

“The good thing, I guess in the situation, it didn’t have the SD card in it until like a week ago,” Grounds said.

She says nothing beyond head shots were recorded during the week.

A La Jolla resident said MacCabe, “seems like a nice guy,” and the news about his arrest and charges came as a shock to both her and the church congregation he was a part of.

“Yeah I was kind of in shock when I saw that it was him,” a resident at La Jolla said. “My roommate showed me the picture and I was like ‘Wait, I know him.’ So, that was kind of crazy.”

Both Grounds and Kretchman expressed that while they feel MacCabe needs to face the consequences of his actions, that isn’t stopping them from showing compassion towards him.

“I do not condone his actions,” Kretchman said on Facebook. “Not in the least. If anyone has a ‘right’ to be angry at him, it’s me. But I’m not.”

Kretchman went on to say in her post that she believes MacCabe is truly capable of change and encouraged others to avoid hateful, judgmental comments on social media.

“He is to be pitied and supported through his trial,” Kretchman said. “Criminals stay criminals when they feel like that’s all they can ever be. I don’t want that for Devan. I know that he is a wonderful person at heart. I want him to know that he can be healed.”

Grounds reaffirmed the overall feeling of support and compassion at her apartment. The impact of his decision, she says, affected everyone in the apartment. But, “he’s still a friend,” she said.

“We’re sad that it had to come to this, but we love him and want the best for him,” Grounds said. “We’re just trying to be strong with each other and do the best we can with the situation.”

Continue to follow BYU-Idaho Scroll for updates to this story.

'EXCLUSIVE: Victims of video voyeurism crime say they forgive suspect' have 6 comments

  1. January 24, 2017 @ 1:36 pm Sarah

    The young women in question are some of the most kind-hearted and Christlike people I think I have ever heard of. I honestly don’t remember what my initial reaction was upon reading the original story, but I promise that was less kind than theirs has been. They have set such a great example for all of us. I don’t know any of them personally, but I can tell you that our university is a better place because of them and people like them, and I consider myself blessed to have heard their story.


  2. January 24, 2017 @ 8:00 pm Ace

    I am curious on how you obtained info from a Facebook post of which her account is set private? Did you all obtain permission from the victims? Are you positive they wanted their names out there? And “Exclusive”? How is this an “exclusive” if you’re just taking quotes from a facebook page of which and news media outlet could have obtained info from?

    I feel bad for the victims of course and hope they can move forward happily and the least injured in this.


    • January 25, 2017 @ 8:20 am Anthony Robbins

      The comments can be found in the comments section of the FB story the Scroll created. Since it was posted in a public forum they don’t need permission. It’s “exclusive” because no other news outlet had published it yet.


  3. January 25, 2017 @ 4:37 pm Jaron Judkins

    I am actually deeply troubled by this article. I know that seems counterintuitive because I also believe in forgiveness and healing made possible through Jesus Christ. But I would like to outline why.
    First, I think people are entitled to their outrage over violence against women. Hating the sin and loving the sinner absolutely requires hating the sin. Violence against women is among the most persistent, pervasive, and systemic forms of violence in our society, and it is consistently underrepresented. And while it may seem surprising, violence against women is most commonly underrepresented by the victims. This is because people often love their abusers. For example, child molestation is most often committed by adults the children are close to, and date rape rarely happens on a first date. According to the World Health Organization, intimate partner violence accounts for the majority of violence against women. This article doesn’t recognize that the victim’s response is a common one. This is not an “only at BYU–Idaho” story. This is the familiar story of rape culture, playing out in a religious community.
    While I do believe there is power in forgiveness, I am not okay with reframing this incident of violence as a story of compassion and forgiveness. Doing this inevitably reframes the violence––which was a deliberate, thought-out choice––as a mistake and a trial. A mistake is something unintentional, like spelling a word incorrectly. This was planned out and executed with personal gratification in mind, at the expense of the victims’ security and mental wellbeing.
    The WHO also says that attitudes downplaying or “accepting violence and gender inequality” increase the “risk of experiencing intimate partner and sexual violence.” If we are interested in decreasing this risk, we should be very careful about romanticizing victims’ responses when they include sympathy for their abusers.


    • January 26, 2017 @ 10:19 pm A walker

      Forgiveness is good, but it feels a bit soon. Also, amen to this whole comment.


    • February 3, 2017 @ 5:03 pm Mary

      Rape culture is when the rapist is not punished because “boys will be boys” but if there is some punishment then this is not a continuation of rape culture because there were consequences to his actions.


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