A city man is accused of trying to secretly record footage of a child getting ready to take a shower, authorities said.
Clarence L. Sutton, 29, of Stanley Street, faces one count of second-degree unlawful surveillance, a felony, and one count of endangering the welfare of a child, a misdemeanor.
He is accused of using a cellphone to try to record the child getting ready to take a shower Monday evening at a location in Schenectady, according to papers filed in court.
Prosecutor Jessica Lorusso said Wednesday that Sutton essentially set the phone to record and the child spotted it and alerted her father, who alerted police.
The charges are based on statements of the victim and suspect, as well as video evidence, according to papers.
The case as charged would not require registration as a sex offender upon conviction, Lorusso said. But she said she could seek to change the section of law upon which the surveillance count is based, making it a registrable offense.
The case is the second in the last month in Schenectady involving accusations of unlawful surveillance in a bathroom. In August, Keifer Wray, 24, of Michigan Avenue, was charged with second-degree unlawful surveillance, a felony, and second-degree dissemination of an unlawful surveillance image, a misdemeanor. He was accused of secretly videotaping at least two women, both visitors at his home, as they used the bathroom between Jan. 1 and Aug. 11. Wray allegedly accomplished that by placing a camera disguised in a small silver clock in his bathroom. He was then accused of uploading at least one of the videos to a website outside the United States.
Lorusso noted the similarities in the surveillance charges, but she also said the underlying accusations are different. She said the accusations against Sutton involve a more rudimentary method, a simple cellphone. The girl spotted the phone and figured it out, Lorusso said.
In general, she said, people should be aware of their surroundings.
“This particular girl was,” she added.