Gavel

Voyeur sentenced to $500 fine, community service

Summerland man recorded two friends having sex at a party and it didn't take long for the video to end up with police

Recording two friends having sex then sharing the video will cost a Summerland man a $500 fine and 30 hours of community service.

The 19-year-old, whose name has been withheld to uphold a publication ban on the victims’ identities, pleaded guilty to one count of voyeurism and was sentenced Monday in provincial court in Penticton.

“Stupid in the extreme, wasn’t it? Also criminal,” Judge Gale Sinclair said to the man prior to passing sentence.

Crown counsel Catherine Crockett told the court the man had friends over Feb. 14, 2014, for a party at his house, where “a lot of alcohol was consumed.”

During the course of the evening, the man recorded videos on his phone and followed behind when a 16-year-old girl and another 19-year-old man went to a bedroom to have sex.

Crockett said he recorded an eight-second video that showed the bedroom door opening and the  two people engaged in sexual intercourse, then sent the video to the girl’s ex-boyfriend “to make him angry or upset.”

The ex-boyfriend later sent the video to the girl’s step-father, who forwarded it to police.

Despite the limited duration and spread of the video, Crockett said, “What can seem like a just a harmless prank at the time can have very serious consequences.”

Defence counsel Paul Varga, who unsuccessfully argued for a conditional discharge for his client, noted the man was co-operative with police, apologized to the 16-year-old girl the day after the party and “hasn’t tried to minimize or avoid the circumstances of what happened.”

Varga also argued that the short, poor-quality, video was “on the low scale” of voyeurism-type offences.

The judge, however, said “too much of this stuff is going on,” noting in some cases such videos have led to suicides.

SInclair also pointed out the man caught  “a good break” from the Crown, which stayed four other charges, including making child pornography, in exchange for the guilty plea.