CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — A jury has awarded a woman $1.3 million after finding a guard hired by a security company secretly filmed her through her bedroom window as she undressed and slept.
The incident happened inside of a gated community in Coral Gables in August of 2010 when the woman was 17-years-old.
Wackenhut, now known as G4S, was ordered to pay the fine after a three-week trial.
The guard, Eric Michael Owens, had been arrested for similar type of behavior before and Wackenhut hired him anyway and put him on patrol in a residential area.
During the incident, the young woman, reported having seen a man with a cell phone at her window. The family of the young woman went to the security guard and he claimed he had also seen the person and said he was calling police.
However, the young woman’s mother later learned Owens had not called police so she filed a report.
Police focused in on the guard and said they found the video of the young woman on the phone.
Owens confessed to recording the young woman.
Police not only found images of the teenager naked on Owens’ cell phone, but they also discovered he had secretly recorded video of her while she slept ten days earlier. Confronted with this evidence Owens confessed, according to police.
Owens was charged with burglary of an occupied dwelling and video voyeurism.
He had been arrested twice and convicted once in California for being a Peeping Tom.
Following the incident, Wackenhut issued a statement to the CBS4 blaming “the peculiarities of California law” which list voyeurism under disorderly conduct. “Given all the information available to the local hiring manager at the time, the decision to employ Mr. Owens was reasonable,” the statement argued.