A North Vancouver man with an “entrenched” sexual fetish for watching women urinate has escaped jail time and a criminal record after pleading guilty to voyeurism.
Jonathan Stringer, 28, was handed a suspended sentence and put on three years probation after pleading guilty to the charge in North Vancouver provincial court Tuesday.
Stringer was arrested in Whistler July 20, 2014, after he planted a camera phone in a washroom stall at the Carleton Lodge and covertly recorded a woman who was using the toilet.
After noticing the illuminated screen and red recording indicator light, the victim, with the help of a female companion, removed the phone from a vent above the toilet.
The woman then turned the phone over to Whistler RCMP officers, who found 18 seconds of shaky video footage taken inside the bathroom that also showed Stringer’s face as he secured the camera.
At first, Stringer told police the incident was a prank. Later he admitted to videotaping the woman for sexual purposes.
“It’s so creepy and traumatizing knowing that someone would go out of their way to do this,” the woman told the North Shore News shortly after the July 20 incident.
Crown counsel Lori Ashton called for 90 days jail time, noting psychiatrists have diagnosed Stringer with an entrenched fetish for watching women urinate. Stringer started acting on those fantasies when he was 24, Ashton told the court.
She also noted Stringer has two previous convictions for similar offences — for which he received suspended sentences, and that numerous mental health assessments have determined he is at a moderate risk to reoffend.
“He must be given the strong arm of the law to say that this is absolutely inappropriate and you cannot be putting these women at risk,” said Ashton.
Stringer’s defence lawyer Nancy Adams characterized him as someone who is “significantly developmentally delayed” with a low IQ — a factor that she said contributes to his voyeurism tendencies.
Stringer graduated from high school and had been working for 10 years stocking shelves at a grocery store. He was fired after his arrest, but has recently been employed as a dishwasher at a North Shore restaurant.
Since his arrest, Adams said, Stringer has attended a psychotherapy outpatient program and scaled back his alcohol and pornography consumption — factors doctors have found to fuel his addiction.
During the investigation, 10 saved videos were found on Stringer’s phone from a voyeurism website featuring covertly taken videos of woman urinating.
Stringer sat with his head bowed during the sentencing hearing.
In handing down his sentence, Judge Steven Merrick told Stringer, “I accept that you are genuinely ashamed.”
Conditions of Stringer’s probation include not being allowed to possess a recording device, with the exception of a phone with the video function disabled.
Stringer is also banned from using unisex washrooms and is banned from accessing pornography.
© 2015 North Shore News
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