‘Creepy’ stepdad secretly filmed teenage girl
A TEENAGER whose stepfather secretly filmed her in her bedroom said she had lost her sense of security, trust and friendships because of the violation.
The man, who cannot be named to protect his victim, pleaded guilty in Maroochydore Magistrates Court to making a recording in breach of privacy, but claimed he was not sexually driven, rather he had tried to catch the girl "taking selfies".
Magistrate Paul Byrne rejected this claim and suggested it was a "fictitious", "inconceivable" ruse to cover his tracks immediately after the girl caught him in the act at their Sunshine Coast home.
Police prosecutor David Bradley told the court that in February this year, the girl had changed into her swimmers in the bathroom, returned to her bedroom and was Face Timing a friend when she noticed a glowing light coming from a box in the top of her cupboard. Inside, she found a mobile phone set to record with the lens facing through a hole and towards her bed.
Sen Sgt Bradley said the stepfather hurried his victim off the phone, asked to borrow a pair of scissors from her cupboard and retrieved the mobile.
He then pulled her into a room and told her to close the door so her 19-year-old brother would not hear.
Sen Sgt Bradley told the court the defendant said to his victim: "I'm sorry for what I did, you're a smart girl, I know it's creepy, I haven't done it before … don't tell anyone, don't tell mum."
Defence barrister Chris Rosser said his client claimed his actions were for the girl's "own good", as he wanted to catch her taking selfies and teach her a lesson.
Sen Sgt Bradley said the girl's biological parents were not aware of any such plan, and the mother called police when her daughter told her what happened.
The girl's victim impact statement was read to the court, which told she now felt unsafe in her own home, could not return to her bedroom, and suffered trust issues when before she had seen "good in everyone".
The man was sentenced to six months' jail, suspended after the 26 days already served in custody, and operational for two years.
Mr Byrne said the sentence needed to act as a personal and general deterrent for such offences, demonstrate the community's denunciation and protect vulnerable members of the community, including the victim.