A man from the Sunshine Coast has been given a suspended prison sentence for secretly filming six women using his toilet over the course of three years.
- Jamie Steven Kuz of Sippy Downs pleaded guilty to 10 counts of making observations or recordings in violation of privacy
- The court heard that he filmed six women using a hidden telephone in his home toilet over a period of three years
- He was given a six-month suspended sentence and an 18-month suspended sentence
Maroochydore Magistrate Court heard Jamie Steven Kuz, now 41, invited several from his church group to his home several times between January 2018 and March 2021 and put his phone up in a bag on the toilet to film women.
His crimes came to light when a woman noticed the phone, watched the videos on it and realized she had been filmed.
She then uploaded some videos to her own phone before confronting Mr Kuz about it.
The Sippy Downs man pleaded guilty to 10 charges of making observations or recordings in violation of a person’s privacy.
People ‘expect privacy’ on the toilet
Prosecutor David Hoffman told the court that “going to the bathroom … is a place where every person in the community should expect privacy. Never should a person expect them to be filmed.”
Sir. Hoffman said the women would be forever affected by the crime and that many “feel the need to carry out the search every time they go to the bathroom outside their home.”
Sir. Hoffman described the footage as a premeditated crime.
“The victims thought they were in a safe place, all part of the same church group and thought they should be able to handle everything they needed to do.”
Kuz’s lawyer, Gabe Hutchinson, told the court his client was remorseful and “wants to see justice for his victims”, adding that the 41-year-old had pleaded guilty on the first occasion.
He also told the court that Kuz had confessed to some recordings that police did not know about after he was captured.
Hutchinson told the court that his client would likely lose a job he had had for nine years at a call center, as he would now fail with a required police check.
Deep psychological effect
Judge Catherine Benson said she accepted an expert psychologist report that Kuz himself had been abused as a child and that that may explain his behavior.
But Judge Benson said Kuz “only recently” had taken steps to get advice to resolve his issues and would need “significant support” to prevent further violations.
“The psychological impact has been profound and will continue,” she said.
She gave Kuz a six-month prison sentence, suspended for 18 months, with an 18-month probation period, during which he would be required to seek counseling.
Judge Benson also ordered that a judgment be recorded.
Police warn that privacy breaches are becoming more common
Outside court, senior sergeant David Bradley said police are increasingly seeing privacy breaches using footage on phones.
He said the crime was exacerbated because the victims thought they were a safe place when they knew Kuz.
“They expected and should have been given privacy for the circumstances in which they found themselves. It was an absolute abuse of trust and that privacy,” he explained.
Senior Sergeant Bradley said he was pleased the court had ordered Kuz to seek help.
“There’s also a substantial conditional sentence hanging over his head, so we feel it’s a sound sentence and sends a good message to society,” said Senior Sergeant Bradley.