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A former Notre Dame College student photographer who stole 656 pair of women’s underwear from fellow students, including athletes he photographed, was sentenced to spend 10 days in Cuyahoga County Jail.

Common Pleas Judge Steven Gall called David Zinram a “bad guy” who deserved prison time, but the judge said he couldn’t send the 22-year-old Westlake native to prison on the low-level felony charges that Zinram pleaded guilty to last month.

“I have grave concerns about your behavior, what I’m going to characterize as deviant behavior,” Gall said.

Zinram struck a deal with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two counts of receiving stolen property, a fourth-degree felony, and one count of misdemeanor theft. Sentencing guidelines lead judges to give probation for felonies under the third degree.

Zinram’s March arrest broke open a case that had puzzled Notre Dame campus detectives for months and struck fear across the campus dorms, Notre Dame College Police Chief Jeffrey Scott said.

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More than a dozen students in campus dorms filed complaints that their underwear and bras were taken from laundry rooms, and police were preparing to install undercover cameras to catch the thief, Scott said.

A student washing her clothes March 17 spotted Zinram in her floor’s laundry room. She thought it was strange that she had never seen him before and tried to strike up a conversation. But Zinram quickly left. The woman left just after that and came back, to find Zinram holding a pair of women’s underwear.

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She called police, who were able to identify Zinram. They searched his room, which was next door to the dorm’s laundry room, and found 656 pieces of women’s underwear hidden inside the ceiling tiles, detective Michael Ohl said as he dumped a lawn clippings bag full of underwear onto the prosecution’s table.

As detectives continued investigating, they found a bottle of the ADHD drug Vyvanse in his dorm room that was prescribed to the neighbor of Zinram’s parents’ home in Westlake. They also found some of the underwear in Zinram’s dorm belonged to the same neighbor.

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Zinram also stole the driver’s licenses of at least 10 students, cut out their photographs and carried them in his wallet, Ohl said. A search of Zinram’s web history showed he was researching how to break into cars and houses, and pornography that depicted rape and a video called “Panty Sniffer Gets Caught,” Ohl said.

Many of the victims were student athletes Zinram’s photographed playing sports for the school.

“He used his position as a student and a very talented photographer to prey upon these victims,” Scott said.

Zinram was originally charged with burglary in the Westlake case, but prosecutors dropped the charge in exchange for Zinram’s plea.

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