Man Spies on Teenage Relative with Hidden Camera, Arrested
Posted on 23rd Aug 2012 @ 10:47 AM
Sometimes, it is the people who are closest to us who can do the most harm by violation your personal privacy. In this case, it’s the story of a young teenager whose life was turned into “something you’d see in the movies” when she discovered that the man she had looked up to as a father-figure was secretly spying on her most private moments using a hidden camera.
43 Thomas King of Ellsworth was sentenced to six years in prison for his crimes. He had videos of the girl in her most private moments on her computer. The different videos were recorded in 2009 when the girl was only 12 years old.
“It’s just very sad and disappointing at the same time,” said the victim to U.S. District Judge John Woodcock on Tuesday. The man who recorded her in her private moments was a relative of hers. King was arrested in July 2011 after being indicted by a federal grand jury in Bangor, and then pleaded guilty in October to the crime of possession of child pornography.
The micro camera was hidden inside a clock that sat on the windowsill of the victim’s bedroom, secretly recording her actions without her ever having known about it. King admitted that the recorded data was store don his laptop and viewed for his own sexual purposes.
King’s activities were reported to the police in January of 2011. King would later give an emotional apology to the victim shortly before being sentenced.
“I committed a horrible offense that has driven a wedge between two families and torn them apart,” he said. “I worked 24 years as a volunteer firefighter and 13 as an EMT [in Ellsworth]. I’ve helped save countless lives. I’d like that taken into consideration.”
The victim, her mother and other family members sat behind Assistant U.S. Attorney Stacey Neumann, who prosecuted the case. On the other side of the courtroom, the defendant’s family and friends gathered.
Individuals from both sides told the judge King’s arrest and conviction has driven a wedge between two families that had been close for many years.
“What he did was he committed a horrendous betrayal of trust and viewed these videos for his own sexual gratification,” Woodcock said in imposing the sentence. “Usually the viewing of child pornography is done by someone who does not know the child they are sexually objectifying.
“Here, the defendant knew the victim,” the judge continued at the end of the three-hour sentencing. “The victim looked at the defendant as a second father. So it is a mystery how this good man could have turned a 12-year-old [relative] into an object of sexual gratification.”
The judge also urged the families to forgive each other.
In addition to prison time, King was sentenced to 10 years of supervised release. Conditions include undergoing sex offender counseling and limited use of his computer. King also will be required to register as a sex offender.
He faced up to 10 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
Under the prevailing sentencing guidelines, King faced between 6½ and eight years and 11 months in federal prison after Woodcock denied him a lesser guideline range.