DOCUMENT: Revolting, Crime

Man Asks Judge To Toss Elmo Confessions

Home inspector charged with indecent act with doll

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8/17 UPDATE: Judge denies motion to suppress defendant's statements to police

AUGUST 4--A home inspector charged with forcing himself on a Tickle Me Elmo doll wants a judge to quash what police say are verbal and written confessions to the creepy crime, which allegedly occurred in the nursery of a Michigan residence, records show.

Lawyers for Kevin VanLuven, 59, have asked a Circuit Court judge to suppress their client’s statements, which came after cops were summoned to a suburban Detroit home in March. Prosecutors have opposed the defense motion, which contends that VanLuven was improperly questioned while in police custody.

A hearing on the suppression motion is scheduled for August 17.

According to court filings, VanLuven (right) was inspecting the Oxford Township home on behalf of a potential purchaser. The home’s owners had let VanLuven, another inspector, the buyers, and a real estate agent into the property on March 12.

While the inspection was proceeding, the owners and their two small boys left the three-bedroom house and went to a family member’s residence. After two hours had passed, homeowner Jaida Dodson remotely accessed her home security cameras to check on the progress of the inspection.

It was then that a nanny cam showed VanLuven removing a Tickle Me Elmo doll that had been among stuffed animals stored in a small teepee tent in the bedroom of Dodson’s two-year-old son. VanLuven then allegedly “unzipped his pants and began masturbating in our son’s closet with his Tickle Me Elmo,” Dodson testified at a recent court hearing.

A still from the surveillance footage is seen above.

Dodson called 911 and met up with police at her residence. The responding officer, Deputy Patrick Yens, recalled that the 911 caller “believed that a home inspector was pleasing himself with a doll, I believe,” according to a court transcript.

After being shown the home surveillance video, Yens questioned VanLuven, who reportedly “admitted to placing his penis in Elmo’s mouth, in the doll’s mouth.” Yens added, “And then he apologized and said he was ashamed.”

As for evidence seized from the home, Yens testified that, “We collected Elmo and took Elmo in.”

VanLuven has been charged with aggravated indecent exposure and malicious destruction of personal property, both of which are misdemeanors. He spent more than five weeks in the county jail before posting bond.

Pictured below, the ranch home where Elmo was allegedly violated was sold a month after VanLuven’s arrest for $230,000. Dodson and her family have relocated to Springfield, Missouri. (5 pages)