Man gets probation for filming woman in bathroom
October 17, 2011
A 64-year-old Gardnerville man was sentenced to probation Monday and ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for filming a woman changing clothes in the bathroom of a Minden warehouse.
“I have great remorse,” David Lee Stewart told District Judge Michael Gibbons. “I did ruin a friendship that I honored. This person has nothing to fear from me at all.”
He said he was undergoing counseling.
Stewart pleaded guilty to capturing an image of the private area of another person, a gross misdemeanor.
According to the criminal complaint, Stewart placed a camera in the bathroom where the woman was changing her clothes on May 17. The alleged victim said Stewart had asked her for months to come to Synergy Sports warehouse in Minden to model the sportswear which he intended to sell online. He gave her several outfits to model.
“She was my friend,” he said Monday. “She owed me a favor. I asked her to model and I was going to put the clothing on eBay.”
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When she went to change into another outfit, the woman said she found a small video camera propped up in the corner of an open cabinet turned on to videotape her.
The woman said she turned off the camera, but changed her clothes and completed the photo shoot because she didn’t feel safe if she confronted Stewart.
She took the camera, called her fiancee, and went to the sheriff’s office where she reported her suspicions.
Deputies arrested Stewart at his residence and confiscated cameras and equipment, a computer tower and video cassette.
Prosecutor Laurie Trotter asked that Stewart be sentenced to six months in jail as part of probation.
“It was not an accident, or a moment of weakness as the defendant describes it. It was a planned event,” Trotter said.
The victim suffered embarrassment and emotional distress from the incident, Trotter said.
The woman did not attend the sentencing.
Stewart is not required to register as a sex offender, but Gibbons imposed several conditions during his two years of probation.
He suspended a one-year sentence in Douglas County Jail.
Stewart is subject to random polygraph tests, may not work as a masseuse or photographer, may not have a post office box, and cannot have a still camera or Internet access without permission of his probation officer.
Stewart must notify any employer of his conviction, comply with curfew, abstain from drugs and alcohol, and cannot possess sexually explicit material or enter a business which provides sexually explicit entertainment.
He must reimburse the victim for any out-of-pocket expenses incurred as a result of the offense.
Stewart may not have contact with the victim.