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Alleged voyeur arrested

Courtney Astolfi • Aug 12, 2014 at 8:10 AM

A Vermilion Township man was arrested Monday after he allegedly installed a webcam in a teen woman's room, aimed right at her dressing area.

James Marquis, 51, of the 200 block of Artillery Ave., was charged with voyeurism and possession of criminal tools, both first-degree misdemeanors.

The Artillery Avenue teen was changing clothes in her bedroom closet around 4 p.m. Sunday when she noticed a red light reflected in her mirror, according to an Erie County deputy's report.

Upon investigating, the woman noticed a webcam poorly hidden under her TV stand — a book had been removed from the hallway and placed in front of the device in an attempt to conceal it, Erie County Detective Dennis Papineau said.

The woman said no one had been in the house that day, but suspected the camera had been installed recently, as she would've noticed the light overnight, the report said.

“It is apparent whoever placed the camera was attempting to view (the teen) in a state of undress either in front of the camera or in the reflection in the mirror,” a deputy wrote in his report.

Deputies later interviewed Marquis, who totally denied involvement.

But when Papineau returned to investigate the matter Monday, Marquis offered a different story.

Privately, the man admitted placing the camera inside the woman's room, Papineau said.

“He admitted installing the camera and setting it up,” Papineau said. “He said he did it basically to keep an eye on her comings and goings and that he was concerned for her and wanted to know what she was doing (while she was home alone).”

Marquis later told deputies he checked the camera, via wi-fi, multiple times — every 30 to 60 minutes, Papineau said.

Marquis maintained his intent was not sexual in nature and that he never spotted the teen on the camera.

Deputies arrested Marquis around 3 p.m. Monday and took him to the Erie County jail. He bonded out in short order, Papineau said, and is scheduled for a court appearance this morning. 

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