Boise chaplain trainee sent to prison for video voyeurism at the mall

Kevin Mark Forbes
Kevin Mark Forbes

A 30-year-old Boise man who took photos under a girl’s skirt at the Boise Towne Square mall in August was sentenced to prison time Friday in Ada County Court.

Kevin Forbes was sentenced to five years in prison, including 18 months fixed. But Judge Peter Barton retained jurisdiction and sent Forbes to a prison-based treatment program.

Barton told Forbes that he’ll bring him back to court in six to nine months to assess his progress in treatment. If Forbes is successful, he may be released rather than being sent back to prison.

The victim’s mother told the judge that the crime had upset her whole family and caused anxiety, anger and mistrust in both of her daughters. She spoke of “stolen innocence.”

Forbes stood to offer a lengthy apology to the victim, her family, his family and supporters, and the whole community.

“It was, without a doubt, the worst decision of my life,” he said. He said he wanted to cover the costs of counseling for the victim.

Ada County Prosecutor John Dinger said Forbes used his own child as a prop to commit the crime, and he suggested that Forbes had blamed his depression and wife’s illness for his actions rather than taking full responsibility. He also said prosecutors found evidence that Forbes had taken photos of unsuspecting women in the past, and that he exhibited “escalating behavior.”

Forbes was caught taking photos under a 15-year-old’s skirt on Aug. 6 in a children’s play area of the mall.

The girl kneeled down in front of Forbes’ stroller, which had one of his two children in it. The girl’s friend noticed what was happening and alerted her, according to testimony Friday. The girl’s mother confronted Forbes about taking lewd photos. Mall security was summoned, and Boise police were called to the scene.

Forbes took more than 80 photos in the incident, Dinger said.

Forbes’ attorney, Michael Larsen, said Forbes is “on the road to recovery” after attending more than 100 Sexaholics Anonymous meetings, participating in a 12-step program and going through two out-of-state treatment programs.

At the time of his arrest, Forbes had been a student in St. Luke’s Boise Medical Center’s one-year clinical pastoral education program since June.

Forbes, who had no prior convictions, holds a master’s in theology. He previously managed a nursing home and was a hospice chaplain for many years, Larsen said. The hospice work took a toll on Forbes, he said.

“Never have I represented such a good man, such a good person,” Larsen said. He said Forbes is a “great man of character,” and likened him to good people who make bad decisions.

Forbes pleaded guilty to one felony count of video voyeurism. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dismissed a felony destruction-of-evidence charge.

Katy Moeller: 208-377-6413, @KatyMoeller