Peeper pleads guilty to secretly videotaping women at business

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

A 51-year-old Sedgewickville, Mo., man pleaded guilty Monday to three felony counts of invasion of privacy for hiding a camera in the restroom of his workplace to secretly record women, according to a news release from Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.

Anthony F. Bakula entered a guilty plea Monday before Cape Girardeau County Circuit Judge Benjamin Lewis.

Bakula admitted to videotaping three women as they used the bathroom at Fruitland Dressed Meats from 2007 to 2009.

At the time he planted the camera, Bakula had been a custodian at the store, Swingle said.

A current employee of the store brought the crime to the owner's attention after she saw a reflection from the camera lens while she was in the bathroom stall. The camera was concealed in a hollowed-out package of toilet paper. The owner of the store contacted police.

"The crime was not particularly challenging to solve since Bakula had filmed his own face as he set up the camera," Swingle said in a written statement.

A search of Bakula's home revealed a number of other videotapes, including images of four other former employees of Fruitland Dressed Meats, bringing the total number of victims to five, but the statute of limitations barred charges from being filed relating to two of them.

Bakula remains in Cape Girardeau County Jail on a $25,000 cash-only bond.

Lewis ordered a sentencing assessment report from the board of Probation and Parole and set a hearing date of Oct. 26 for the sentencing.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

388-3635

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