GULF BREEZE, FL - September 16, 2020 - According to the news website PNJ.com, a former Gulf Breeze Mayor was arrested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and booked on several charges, including stalking and secretly video recording teenage boys. The former mayor is being accused of stalking, tracking, and secretly recording the boys at his house and without the boys' knowledge. The mayor's bond was set at $101,000.
The arrest affidavit that was released to the public on Monday by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement states that their investigation into the former Gulf Breeze mayor began back in June of 2020. The investigation was initiated after an 18-year-old boy reported to the Gulf Breeze Police Department that he discovered a hidden video camera in a shoebox in a bathroom closet of the former mayor's house. The teenaged boy stated that he used that bathroom to shower and get dressed on numerous occasions over the past year. The Gulf Breeze Police Department then forwarded the teenager's complaint and statement ze forwarded the complaint to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for further investigation.
The teenager told the Florida Department of Law Enforcement detectives that he had met the former mayor back in the summer of 2019. The teenager said that he had started working for the mayor at the mayor's house located in Gulf Breeze, Florida.
The 18-year-old victim said that the mayor became increasingly "more controlling" over him and that he felt the former mayor was following him on some occasions. According to the news report, the victim stated to law enforcement that the suspect spotted him at a Pensacola park at approximately 12 in the morning back in December of 2019. The victim stated that he felt the suspect had been tracking his movements through his cellphone. In another incident, the victim said to the suspect that he would not be coming over to work because he was ill. However, the suspect told the victim that the victim was at his friend's house and not at his home.
The victim told law enforcement that the suspect would tell him to use the master bathroom shower after the victim was finished working at the suspect's home. The victim stated that the suspect would always retrieve a towel for the victim just before the boy would take a shower. In April 2020, the victim found a GoPro video camera on the counter at the camera that faced the bathroom shower. The victim stated that he also found a hidden camera located inside a shoebox inside the bathroom, and the shoebox had a small hole in it. After the victim discovered the video cameras, he decided to report the situation to law enforcement.
On August 5, 2020, law enforcement secured a search warrant for the suspect's house, and the law enforcement agents raided the suspect's house that same day. The investigators seized many electronic devices, and the investigators found eight videos on the electronic video recording devices. The video cameras recorded four males undressing or nude inside the suspect's bathroom. According to the arrest affidavit, some of the videos also captured the suspect starting the video camera prior to the boys entering the bathroom.
The investigators contacted and talked with the other victims found on the suspect's videos. The boys stated that their ages were 16, 17, or 18 when the videos were taken and that they did not know the video recordings existed. All of the boys stated that they worked various jobs at the suspect's house, and he would invite them to use his bathroom shower. A few of the victims stated that they were also treated with the same controlling behaviors as the first victim claimed. According to the report, the suspect met the victims at several different community organizations the suspect was affiliated with.
The suspect's cellphone had GPS coordinates on it and this led law enforcement to determine the suspect installed GPS tracking devices on victims' motor vehicles. The suspect was arrested and charged with one count of interception of oral communication, misdemeanor stalking, misdemeanor installation of a tracking device, and eight counts of video voyeurism.