Sign up for our newsletter ⟩
News |

Five-month suspended sentence for university restroom voyeur

Over a period of nearly six months in 2018, the man gathered a total of 443 videos showing 478 people.

WC:n pöntöllä istuva henkilö
File photo. Image: Yle

A South Karelia court has handed down a five-month suspended jail sentence to a man who was convicted of secretly recording footage of people using restrooms at the Saimaa University of Applied Sciences in Lappeenranta, southeast Finland.

On Wednesday the court found the 38-year-old man guilty of spying and eavesdropping on a total of 478 people. The prosecutor had called for a six-month suspended sentence.

The defendant was found to have recorded a total of 443 videos of 478 people between April and September 2018.

According to the charge sheet, the genitals of about 20 people who used the restrooms were visible in some of the videos. However the victims' faces could not be seen.

Prosecution: Victims could not seek penalties

It was possible to see the faces of people using the facilities in a few of the videos. Police were not able to identify the people in the recordings, so the victims were not able to pursue prosecutions or file claims for penalties.

However the prosecution argued that charges should be pressed in the public interest. It also pointed to the number of victims in the illicit recordings and noted that it was a serious and unusual offence.

It also raised the fact that the victims could not claim the right to prosecute the offender and that the offences took place in a public restroom.

Defence: He only wanted to watch

The man had concealed the camera under the washbasin in a toilet stall in the university’s public restroom so that it pointed directly at the toilet bowl.

He had hidden the same camera in three different toilet stalls at various times at the institution.

After gathering the material, he had transferred it to a memory card and later to a computer so he could watch the videos.

The defendant pled guilty to the charges against him. The defence said that he did not intend to record any audio and it was not his intention for anyone in the material to be identifiable. His only desire was to watch, they argued.

Earlier this year a similar intrusion involving a hidden camera at toilet facility was detected at a university of applied sciences in Vaasa, western Finland.

Latest in: News


Our picks