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Lewiston police officer charged with surveilling woman in locker room

A Lewiston police officer faces three felony charges after being accused of unlawfully surveilling a women's locker room.

Alexander P. Ruckh, 31, has been suspended without pay by the Lewiston Police Department after his arrest Dec. 13, according to authorities.

Ruckh has been accused of recording a victim changing clothes on several occasions between the spring and summer of 2017, Niagara County District Attorney Caroline A. Wojtaszek said.

Police and prosecutors would not disclose the location where the alleged surveillance happened, saying it could be used to identify the victim. Wojtaszek and the State Police said there was one victim in the case.

Troopers said the alleged crimes did not occur while Ruckh was on duty.

State police would not reveal what triggered the investigation, saying only they discovered Ruckh placed unspecified "surveillance technology" in November 2018.

Ruckh was charged with three counts of second-degree unlawful surveillance, a class E felony.

Ruckh graduated from the Niagara County Law Enforcement Academy in December 2013. He was hired as an officer in Lewiston in December 2014, said Lewiston Police Chief Frank J. Previte III.

He turned himself in to police on Dec. 13 and was arraigned the same day in Niagara Town Court, Wojtaszek said. The case has been transferred to Wheatfield Town Court, where he is scheduled to appear Feb. 5. The case was moved out of Lewiston after two town judges recused themselves, Wojtaszek said.

At Ruckh's arraignment, the judge issued an order of protection, according to prosecutors.

In addition to being a Lewiston police officer, Ruckh was an assistant fire chief at Upper Mountain Volunteer Fire Co. in Lewiston in 2015-2016, according to the fire company's website. He was also a fire lieutenant for the company in 2014-2015. In May 2014, he received the department's health and wellness award.

He was not listed as a current officer for the fire company on its website.

Upper Mountain Fire Chief Charles Smith said Ruckh resigned from the fire company in December.

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