‘I get vi­o­lated and he walks’

Vic­tim dis­gusted that auc­tion­eer who video recorded her un­dress­ing

The Beacon (Gander) - - News - BY ROSIE MULLALEY THE TELE­GRAM rmul­la­ley@thetele­gram.com Twit­ter: Te­lyRosie

Mo­ments af­ter auc­tion­eer Shawn Roche was given a con­di­tional dis­charge, the woman who he video recorded un­dress­ing in his house ex­pressed her dis­gust.

“This is hor­ri­ble!” the woman told The Tele­gram out­side the court­room at pro­vin­cial court in St. John’s last Thurs­day fol­low­ing Roche’s sen­tenc­ing.

“I get vi­o­lated and he walks.”

The woman was so up­set, she could be heard down the hall­way in a loud voice telling Crown pros­e­cu­tor Shawn Pat­ten, “He knew ex­actly what he was do­ing!”

Sher­iff’s of­fi­cers stood by to pre­vent any trou­ble as Roche left the court­room with his lawyer, Bob Sim­monds.

Af­ter Pat­ten took her aside to speak with her, she emerged calmer, but when ap­proached for com­ment, she was still ev­i­dently up­set.

“This has had a huge im­pact on me,” said the woman, sur­rounded by her fam­ily. “I just can’t be­lieve he got a con­di­tional dis­charge.”

The sen­tence — which in­cludes six months’ pro­ba­tion — means Roche has been found guilty, but a con­vic­tion has not been en­tered and three years af­ter his pro­ba­tion is com­pleted he will have no crim­i­nal record.

Roche — the owner of Roche’s Auc­tion­eer­ing Ser­vices Ltd., a well-known auc­tion busi­ness in the cap­i­tal city — was orig­i­nally charged with three counts of voyeurism. Two of those charges were for ob­serv­ing or mak­ing a record­ing of a per­son, with­out their knowl­edge, in a place where pri­vacy is ex­pected, and one for ob­serv­ing or record­ing a per­son, with­out their knowl­edge, while they are naked or ex­pos­ing them­selves.

In­stead, he pleaded guilty to mis­chief. Pat­ten agreed to with­draw the other count.

Dur­ing his sen­tenc­ing hear­ing ear­lier this month, Roche ex­pressed his re­morse and said it was never his in­ten­tion to record the woman un­dress­ing.

The 46-year-old said that, at the time, July 2010, he was try­ing to gather in­for­ma­tion about his wife to sup­port a di­vorce. He had sus­pi­cions his wife had been dis­cussing their per­sonal af­fairs with oth­ers.

Roche’s es­tranged wife dis­cov­ered the video.

Ac­cord­ing to the agreed state­ment of facts, in Au­gust 2014, a few weeks af­ter she and Roche sep­a­rated and he moved out of their Logy Bay house, she was gath­er­ing some of his clothes and found an SD card in one of his coats.

When she viewed it on a com­puter at a later date, she saw a cou­ple they knew, who had been stay­ing in their guest bed­room.

The video shows Roche set­ting up the cam­era at noon and the cou­ple en­ter­ing the bed­room an hour later. At 7:21 p.m., Roche re-en­ters the room, read­justs the cam­era and then leaves.

Be­tween that time and the morn­ing, the woman is seen un­dress­ing and dress­ing, ex­pos­ing her­self. No au­dio was con­tained on the video.

In late Oc­to­ber 2016, Roche’s es­tranged wife in­formed the woman of the video. Nei­ther she nor the man knew they were be­ing video recorded.

In her vic­tim im­pact state­ment, the woman wrote, “My trust is gone, my in­tegrity is ques­tioned and I am a very bro­ken woman, who had all the con­fi­dence in the world, left shat­tered.”

Pat­ten had called it “an egre­gious vi­o­la­tion of some­one’s pri­vacy” and sug­gested Roche be given a sus­pended sen­tence with a year’s pro­ba­tion.

Sim­monds said a con­di­tional dis­charge was more ap­pro­pri­ate, not­ing, “A con­vic­tion would be fa­tal to his busi­ness,” since Roche trav­els fre­quently to the United States.

In mak­ing his de­ci­sion, Judge Colin Flynn said since Roche never viewed the video and never shared it with any­one, there is “a lesser de­gree of blame­wor­thi­ness than those that do not meet such cri­te­ria.”

“The lack of sex­ual mo­tive along with non­view­ing by the ac­cused places this case in a dif­fer­ent cat­e­gory than most oth­ers,” said Flynn, who also or­dered Roche to pay a $1,000 vic­tim sur­charge, a much larger sum than the min­i­mum $50, due to the ef­fect his ac­tions had on the woman.

“I must con­clude that it was a lapse of judg­ment rather than an in­tent to cap­ture video for a sex­ual pur­pose.”

But the woman on the video doesn’t buy that.

“He in­vited us to his house and was seen ad­just­ing the cam­era twice!” she said. “Be­lieve me, he knew ex­actly what he was do­ing.”

SUBMITTED PHOTO

Auc­tion­eer Shawn Roche was back in pro­vin­cial court in St. John’s Thurs­day to be sen­tenced.

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