BURLINGTON (WITI) — 44-year-old James Straube of Burlington has been charged — accused of using a hidden camera to get naked video of his female roommate.
Straube faces six charges, including a charge of invasion of privacy – surveillance device (a misdemeanor), four felony counts of capturing an image of nudity without consent, and a felony count of stalking.
Burlington police on April 12th were dispatched to a residence on Bay Ridge Lane for a report of a female having found a video recording system placed in her bedroom without her consent.
A criminal complaint against Straube says the woman noticed a video camera when she was replacing blinds in her bedroom.
The complaint says the woman unplugged the camera and downloaded video to her computer — which showed the inside of her bedroom and her master bathroom. The woman reported finding approximately 10 videos on the camera — and two of them had the woman in them.
The complaint says the woman told police she believed Straube was responsible for placing the camera — as the first video showed him setting it up, and then leaving the room.
The woman told police in July of 2013, both she and Straube were doing through divorces, and decided it would be financially easier on them to rent a place together. The woman told police Straube wanted a relationship with her, but she declined — according to the complaint.
The complaint says the woman told police she had reason to believe Straube would look through her phone, her Facebook account and her checking account to see what she was doing.
On April 11th, 2014, the complaint says the woman came home to find all of Straube’s personal belongings (as well as those belonging to daughters) were gone.
The complaint says the woman went into her bedroom to hang some new curtains she had purchased for her bedroom when she noticed the camera.
Police took Straube into custody, and searched two laptops belonging to him. On those computers, the complaint says police found approximately 23 videos which were captured by the camera found in the woman’s bedroom.
In investigating these videos, police discovered the camera was also placed in a small portion of the bedroom closet, and underneath the nightstand next to the woman’s bed. The complaint says Straube admitted to placing the camera underneath the nightstand — and said most of the videos didn’t contain nudity.
Police were able to locate videos downloaded onto Straube’s laptop that depicted the woman in a state of either full or partial nudity, according to the complaint.
Eventually, an officer interviewed Straube and he admitted to placing the cameras in the woman’s bedroom. Straube told police he watched and then downloaded several of the videos captured by the camera — and said the woman was “probably not” aware that the cameras were placed in her bedroom, according to the complaint.
When asked why he placed the cameras in the woman’s bedroom, Straube told police he “had a hard time with the break-up, and that he loved her and wanted to get into a relationship with her,” according to the complaint.
Straube has a preliminary hearing set for May 22nd at 8:30 a.m.