Gym employee pleads guilty to obscenity for putting cameras in bathroom
RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - An employee of a now-closed gym, who was charged with 95 various counts of video voyeurism for placing cameras in the facility’s women’s bathroom, has pleaded guilty to a single count of obscenity.
Shane Carruth, 33 of Forest Hill, was charged with 85 counts of video voyeurism, eight counts of video voyeurism where the victim was under the age of 17 and two counts of video voyeurism with nudity.
In July 2018, the owner of the now-former CrossFit South Bank gym discovered a suspicious device inside the women’s bathroom. Alexandria police, who investigated the case, said the device looked like a phone charging block, but it had a small lens on the outside and a micro SD slot.
The device was taken as evidence by police and analyzed and several photos and videos were found on the device. Carruth, who worked at the gym, became a person of interest, but at the time, there was not sufficient probable cause to charge him with a crime.
A month later, a second device was found at the gym. It appeared to look like an activity tracking bracelet. Detectives got a search warrant for Carruth’s house and collected two computers, one of which had 95 videos of females inside the gym. There were approximately 32 separate females depicted. According to police, it was apparent that none were aware that they were being recorded.
On Monday, Nov. 14, 2022, court minutes reflected that every single charge had been dismissed by the Rapides Parish District Attorney’s Office. By the afternoon, Assistant District Attorney Lea Hall called Carruth into court alongside his defense attorney, John Flynn, to clear up what he called a “misunderstanding.”
“This morning, based upon a misunderstanding, I requested a dismissal,” said Hall. “An error was discovered.”
Hall told Judge Greg Beard that all of the charges were not supposed to be dismissed. Instead, Carruth would enter a plea to a count of obscenity.
Carruth was sentenced to three years of hard labor, but the sentence was suspended. Instead, he received three years of supervised probation. He was fined $1,000 and has to pay court costs. Carruth must also continue with the treatment that he is currently in.
Hall told the court that the charges will not be dismissed and will remain on the record.
News Channel 5 reached out to the former owners of the gym, as well as a victim in the case. Both said they were unaware that this would be happening in court.
“This is a very disappointing day. To our knowledge, none of the victims nor ourselves were made aware of today’s trial. This was obviously a very traumatic experience for many innocent victims and families. It’s hard to imagine how 95 counts can turn into one count of a far lesser charge, especially considering multiple accounts included minors and he had a police record for a similar incident in the past.”
A victim told us, “This wasn’t his first incident, and I doubt it will be his last.”
The closing of the CrossFit South Bank gym is not in any way related to the case with Carruth.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Lea Hall. Carruth was represented by John Flynn. Judge Greg Beard presided.
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