[2015] 364 Nfld. & PEIR 189 (NLPC)

In [2015] 364 Nfld. & PEIR 189 (NLPC), a 57-year-old office manager used his iPhone to record a 23-year-old co-worker, Ms. S, while she used the washroom at work. He attempted to record her three times and hid his iPhone in various places in the washroom. At trial, Mr. M stated that he did not record the complainant for a sexual purpose, but rather sought to catch her texting with her phone at work. The court rejected this suggestion, writing:

[Mr. M] advised the author of the pre-sentence report that there was no sexual in-tent in his actions. However, what did [Mr. M] think he was going to be recording? What do people do in washrooms? [Mr. M] must have known that he was going to be video recording [Ms. S] performing private acts in which portions of her body might be revealed. To suggest otherwise is nonsense. Thus, I do not view [Mr. M’s] lack of sexual intent as diminishing his moral responsibility for this offence.[1]

Mr. M did, however, acknowledge that his conduct was criminal, and pleaded guilty to voyeurism.

In her victim impact statement, Ms. S stated that she left her job because she could no longer work with the offender. She suffered financial hardship as a result, and the court recognized that, “It is a perverse result for [Ms. S] to lose her employment while [Mr. M] maintains his.”[2] Ms. S also described developing depression and anxiety as a result of M’s actions. The court wrote:

Setting up a device in a washroom to videotape a female employee is not only a gross breach of her privacy, but constitutes a serious criminal offence. It sends a chilling message to women that even the washrooms at their places of employments are not safe.[3]

The court suspended Mr. M’s sentence considering that he was a first time offender and placed him on probation for twelve months.

[1] 2015 CanLII 10931 at 54.
[2] 2015 CanLII 10931at para 18.
[3] 2015 CanLII 10931 at para 52.


Criminal Offence(s): Voyeurism