Felony charges in unlawful filming case stem from Bell bill

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In April, a Forest Lakes resident was arrested for installing a hidden camera inside his neighbor’s master bathroom. Facing 23 years in prison, he was sentenced to seven months August 25. Mugshot courtesy of Albemarle Police In April, a Forest Lakes resident was arrested for installing a hidden camera inside his neighbor’s master bathroom. Facing 23 years in prison, he was sentenced to seven months August 25. Mugshot courtesy of Albemarle Police

Forest Lakes resident Thomas Andrew Eagleson will remain in jail after his attorney, Rhonda Quagliana, told the judge in Albemarle General District Court this morning her client would not be seeking bond at this time. Eagleson, 45, appeared on video from the Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail, where he has been since his arrest April 11.

He’s charged with three misdemeanor counts of unlawful filming an adult and two felony counts of unlawful filming juveniles. Eagleson was denied bond April 11.

According to police, Eagleson was pet sitting for his out-of-town neighbors March 25 and 26. They called police March 29 after discovering a camera hidden in the master bathroom and footage of each family member showering and using the bathroom.

Before 2004, those charges would all have been misdemeanors. After a handyman installed a camera in the bathroom of an Albemarle family, Delegate Rob Bell got a bill passed making such surreptitious filming of children a felony.  The children’s father and Bell “both thought misdemeanor was way too low where kids were involved,” says Bell.

A search warrant was executed when Eagleson was arrested in his home in the 3100 block of Turnberry Circle, and police say additional charges, including breaking and entering, may be pending.

His next hearing is May 26.

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