A former registered nurse at Ellis Hospital who admitted to hiding a video camera in an employee bathroom was sentenced Friday to up to three years in prison.
Schenectady County Court Judge Karen Drago sentenced Paul Bourdeau to an agreed upon 1 to 3 years at a sentencing where he apologized for his actions. The prosecutor in the case argued Bourdeau took more than pictures of the female employees, taking their sense of security, as well.
Drago sentenced Bourdeau after his attorney requested a term of six months in jail, saying that would send an appropriate message in the case. Drago, though, stuck with the agreed-upon sentence.
She noted the defendant’s 13 years as a nurse at Ellis Hospital, largely helping patients in the Intensive Care Unit, but she said those patients — and the employees who care for them — must be protected.
“It is for those reasons why these acts are so egregious and it can’t be tolerated,” Drago said.
The investigation began in November 2013 after an employee spotted the device and alerted hospital officials. The device was found to be a motion-sensing camera that was secretly placed under a bathroom sink and positioned to face the toilet.
After a joint investigation involving the hospital and city police, Bourdeau was arrested. He was accused of moving the device at least once.
Bourdeau, 45, of Union Street, pleaded guilty in August just before trial to one count of second-degree unlawful surveillance, a felony. In addition to the prison time, he must register as a sex offender.
Prosecutor Christina Tremante-Pelham said in court the employee bathroom in which Bourdeau placed the camera was connected to the Intensive Care Unit. It was aimed at the toilet and captured his female co-workers using the bathroom. He admitted to placing the camera for his own sexual gratification, Tremante-Pelham said.
“A sentence of 1 to 3 years in prison is warranted simply by the egregious nature of the defendant’s conduct,” Tremante-Pelham said. “What he took from these women was much more than pictures. He took their privacy, their own sense of security, and he did it for his own sexual gratification.”
Bourdeau was represented by Kevin Luibrand, who offered letters of praise for Bourdeau’s 13 years as a nurse at the hospital. The letters all predated his arrest and had no relation to the allegations against him.
Luibrand also argued Bourdeau never obtained the images from the camera because the camera was spotted first. Luibrand and Bourdeau also said a depression that lingered after the death of Bourdeau’s mother four years ago led to his behavior.
As Luibrand spoke, Bourdeau stood next to him, holding a rosary and moving it in his fingers.
In his own statement, Bourdeau expressed his apologies to the people he harmed. He also spoke of the death of his mother and the depression that followed. He said he told of that not to excuse his actions, but to explain them.
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Categories: News, Schenectady County