Galien family falls victim to peeperPublished 10:01pm Monday, October 8, 2012
“Disgusting” and “reprehensible” behavior by a trusted friend a Galien family opened their home to turned their lives upside down, the victim said at sentencing Monday in Berrien County Trial Court.
Joseph Allen Shoemaker, 35, of Three Oaks, on at least three occasions made video or audio recordings of his hosts, for which he was charged with eavesdropping and capturing/distributing the image of an unclothed person.
Judge Dennis Wiley gave Shoemaker 300 days in jail, with credit for 36, as part of a five-year probationary sentence.
Shoemaker must also pay $2,666, including a $500 fine, register as a sex offender and cannot use or own a computer, camera or phone equipment that connects to the internet.
He is restricted in how close he can get to parks and schools.
His hosts Sept. 2 discovered a video recording device in the bathtub pointed at the toilet. An audio recording device was also found in their bedroom.
“I’m not the only victim in this,” the woman said, since her whole family has been subject to scrutiny by media accounts and Child Protective Services.
Assistant Prosecutor Kelly Travis said the family understandably feels betrayed, disturbed, hurt and uneasy, wondering if their three children were victimized.
“Your behavior is not only bizarre, but reprehensible,” Wiley said, recounting how Shoemaker surreptitiously violated their privacy by intruding on intimate details of their lives.
Shoemaker went beyond betrayal to cowardly and disgusting.
“What you’ve done is so despicable it’s sad,” Wiley said, adding his first inclination was to send him to prison, but then it would be harder to monitor his behavior.
Defense attorney Shannon Sible agreed, saying Shoemaker needs checks so his behavior cannot be repeated. “He wants everybody to know how sorry he is.”