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This article was published 27/3/2015 (1184 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
JUSTICE officials are seeking an eight-year prison sentence for a Winnipeg man who used hidden spy cameras to secretly record numerous unsuspecting family members, co-workers and friends during their most private moments.
The man, who can't be named to protect the identities of his victims, appeared in court Thursday on charges of voyeurism and making child pornography. Details of his crimes, which were never released by police, emerged publicly for the first time.
A total of 21 victims — 12 children and nine adults — were identified on hundreds of videos police seized from the man's computers. They were shot from 2009 to 2012 at a Winnipeg group home where he worked during the week, inside his Gimli residence where he spent the weekends, and at the family cottage in Ontario.
'These people expected the privacy of that situation, to maintain their dignity'— Crown attorney Debbie Buors
The victims included the man's teen foster son, his wife, his teen daughter, many of her young friends and even some of his fellow group-home employees. All of the videos, which were explicitly labelled and organized, were shot with tiny pen cameras he'd hidden throughout several bathrooms in question.
The victims were recorded while using the toilet and taking showers. All of them were female, except for his teen foster son, who may have inadvertently been caught on camera. A selection of the videos was played in court Thursday for the judge to view.
"These people expected the privacy of that situation, to maintain their dignity," Crown attorney Debbie Buors told court. She said they all suffered "extreme embarrassment" after learning what had been done to them.
This is believed to be one of the largest voyeurism cases ever discovered in Manitoba. The man was caught when his foster son discovered one of the hidden cameras in the bathroom, then told others about it. That led to police involvement, a series of search warrants and the videos surfacing.
"I would like to apologize for the hurt that I've caused, for the scars I've created. I lost sight of being a husband, a father, a caregiver, a friend. I took advantage of innocence and invaded trust and privacy," the man said Thursday at his sentencing hearing.
Defence lawyer Todd Bourcier is seeking an 18-month sentence followed by probation.
The judge reserved his decision until later this spring.
The man has been deemed a "high risk" to reoffend and told probation officials he was motivated by the thrill of setting up the videos. He would hide the cameras inside shaving kits he strategically placed in the bathrooms, and would often film himself setting them up.
"He was in the throes of an addiction to pornography," Bourcier told court. "This is a horrible secret he was keeping from everyone. He is shocked and appalled when he looks back at what he did."
The man told probation officials it's good he was arrested because "if the police did not charge me, I would still be doing it."
"I was so caught up in it, I didn't think about the consequences," he said.
The man has since lost his job and his marriage. His wife, who was filmed in some of the videos, called him a "master manipulator" who left a trail of destruction. The victims included their 14-year-old daughter and many of her teen friends who had spent time at the family home and cottage over the years.
"These are people who trusted them to have their child in the home," Buors said Thursday.
Mike McIntyre grew up wanting to be a professional wrestler. But when that dream fizzled, he put all his brawn into becoming a professional writer.