A St. Clair man was found not guilty Monday on allegations that he placed a hidden camera at the Washington Target Store in 2014.
Clay F. Wideman, 40, was found not guilty by Associate Circuit Judge Dave Hoven based on evidence, according to court records.
The security level of the case was raised to make it a confidential case because the defendant was found not guilty, according to Circuit Court Clerk Bill D. Miller.
Wideman was charged with one count of second-degree attempted invasion of privacy. He was accused of concealing a camera in a unisex fitting room on June 8, 2014, which was found by store personnel.
Store personnel allegedly traced Wideman’s activities while he was in the store and on the parking lot from store video surveillance cameras.
Washington police noted in the probable cause statement that detectives created a time line using the time stamps on the store video and files located on the SD card in the hidden camera.
“The device recorded the legs of a subject who went into the fitting room to try on clothes,” according to a probable cause statement filed with the court.
Police said the time stamps match the time period Wideman was in the store.
The misdemeanor warrant notes that the camera secretly recorded both a woman and a man inside the dressing room.
After reviewing store surveillance video and video from other stores in the area, police obtained a license plate number and identified the suspect through his employer, Washington police said,
Police questioned Wideman June 16, 2014, but the suspect quickly asked to call his attorney which ended the interrogation, authorities said.
A dome, which was painted red, was taped to a wall below a seat in the fitting room. Inside was the pinhole camera and a camera card.
Store personnel became aware of the object when it fell off the wall.
Police said after reviewing in-store video, police identified a possible suspect who was in the area of the fitting room. The man left the store, changed his clothes in a van, then returned wearing different clothes, as well as sunglasses and a ball cap, the detective said.
When he returned he walked around the store for a time, then left without buying anything.
Thinking that this was not the first time he did this, detectives sought a search warrant for the man’s home, but the prosecutor’s office declined to issue one based on the amount of evidence, accordin g to police.