WOODSTOCK – At least two women who were recorded or photographed without their knowledge at a tanning salon last year say they no longer feel secure.
The victims testified during a sentencing hearing in Shenandoah County General District Court on Monday that Eric Lee Fadely took away their feeling of security. One woman said she no longer could use dressing rooms or restrooms without first looking for peepholes or cameras.
But Fadely, 19, of Edinburg, had no criminal history and the state classifies his charges – using a peephole to look into an enclosure and three counts of filming or photographing a non-consenting, nude person in a place in which the victim has a reasonable expectation of privacy – as misdemeanors. Fadely pleaded guilty to all four charges and faced a maximum punishment of up to 12 months in jail.
Judge W. Dale Houff said in determining Fadely’s punishment that sentencing guidelines called for the defendant to receive probation with no incarceration.
Houff sentenced Fadely to 180 days in jail with 170 days suspended for the charge of use of a peephole; and to 180 days in jail, with all time suspended, for each count of filming or photographing a non-consenting, nude person. Houff imposed a $500 fine with $400 suspended. Fadely also must complete therapy as a condition of his probation, Houff said.
Authorities charged Fadely with committing the crimes in January 2018. Fadely had just turned 18 when he committed the first crime on Jan. 5, 2018.
Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley called the two women to provide their victim impact statements to Houff. A third victim did not testify.
“I just feel like something’s been taken away that I’m sure, in time, will hopefully come back,” one victim said, calling the incident a “setback” in her life.
The victim said she “feels like someone’s watching me,” when she goes into a dressing room or bathroom. The victim admitted that she used tanning salons year-round and called the practice an enjoyable, 10-minute piece of her day. The victim said she can no longer go tanning as a result of her experience.
The other victim told the judge that Fadely stood outside the tanning area in the same salon for 45 seconds and recorded video footage of her. The victim said she didn’t find out that this had happened until almost a month later, all the while still using the tanning salon.
“This whole process has really gone by with minimal knowledge and nobody asking really how we are, but yet trying to make it OK for him (Fadely) to go to the Armed Forces and that upsets me,” the victim said. “He knew when victims were coming in. It was premeditated. It was not just an impulsive, kid thing.”
The second victim to testify said she also felt anxious when entering dressing rooms. She said Fadely violated the victims’ sense of security.
Peter McDermott represented the defendant. Fadely spoke to the victims, at times holding back tears.
“I can’t say sorry; there’s no words that can really explain how I feel,” he said.
Fadely said he took an oath when he joined the U.S. military. He admitted that he took the sense of security from the victims.
“It’s not something I can easily give back,” Fadely said.
“Where I was last year is not where I am now,” he said.
One victim spoke directly to Fadely and pointed out that he violated the oath he took when entering the U.S. military.
Wiseley admitted she didn’t know what kind of punishment the court could impose in such a case.
“The court’s heard from the victims ... what was taken away from them is not something you can give back with the snap of a finger,” she said.
McDermott said his client is seeing a specialist to address his behavior.
Houff took a few minutes to come up with Fadely’s punishment.
“I understand that the defendant was very young, barely 18, he has no criminal record and we’re normally inclined to give everyone somewhat of a second chance,” Houff said. “Of course, at the same time, this was very demoralizing, upsetting to people and even at 18, when you’re able to do many things at 18, even join the military, you ought to have responsibility in understanding what impact this has.
“Like I said, normally we would enter a suspended sentence, but I have decided on one of these (charges) he ought to see what the inside of a jail is like,” Houff added.