JoDean Davies says her heart broke when she found out her grandson was accused of recording women and children using a cellphone inside a bathroom in a Woodland church. Police say 23-year-old Stephen Masalta hid a cell phone in the woman's bathroom at the New Life Community Church on Walnut Street.
"He's carrying a huge load of shame and regret," Davies said about Masalta. "And he wants this, people to know how sorry, how deeply sorry he is."
The pastor of the church turned the cell phone over to police after a member of the congregation found it. Woodland Police Department detectives say the phone had about two hours of video of women and children using the bathroom. When they searched Masalta's home, officers say they found more videos going back about four months.
"We are looking to discover the root cause. When someone who's shown no sign, no indication of anything like this," Davies said.
Police say Masalta recorded a total of 20 victims at the church where he was a musician. His grandmother also attends New Life Community Church.
"Everyone I know in the community has been very kind. And has said not a lot about it. Just 'hi, how are you doing? How are things going for your grandson?'" Davies said.
JoDean Davis says she understands, if convicted, her grandson will have to pay for what he did. But she also wants him to get help.
"Everyone wants to support him right now," Davies said. "What can we do to help you Stephen?"
In an email, New Life Community Church pastor John A. Gallegos told News10:
"Be assured that I will continue to cooperate with the Woodland Police Department in any way possible and do the very best I can to assist the victims as they recover."
He also noted that Davies' personal comments "in no way (…) represent the church's stance concerning the ongoing investigation."