By LeAnn R. Ralph
MENOMONIE — A 55-year-old Town of Tainter resident has been charged with one felony and one misdemeanor for secretly videotaping a woman at his photography business while she changed clothes in a bathroom in between photo shoots.
James E. Kernan, the owner of “Picture Perfect Photography” located on 562nd Street in the Town of Tainter, made an initial appearance in Dunn County Circuit Court February 25 on one felony count of capturing an image of nudity and one misdemeanor count of invading privacy by using a surveillance device.
Deputies with the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department arrested Kernan after a 25-year-old woman contacted the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department January 21.
According to a news release from the sheriff’s department, the woman reported that she believed she had been videotaped in a bathroom without her permission at a business called Picture Perfect Photography being operated out of a residence in the Town of Tainter.
During one of several trips to the bathroom, the alleged victim observed what she believed to be a hidden video camera in the bathroom where she was changing clothes in between photo shoots.
The woman removed the memory card from the camera, and when she viewed the contents of the card, she saw a video of the male photographer placing the camera in the bathroom.
The video also showed the alleged victim in various states of undress.
The alleged victim then contacted the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department.
According to news reports, Kernan told investigators that he had set up the video camera because he was missing two dresses valued at a couple of hundred dollars each and that he suspected the woman had taken them.
According to the news release from the Dunn County Sheriff’s Department, investigators have no indication that any other clients were videotaped without their consent.
Kernan posted bail of $200 cash on January 29.
He is scheduled to appear in court again on May 13.