Surreptitious Recording Prosecution Result
Washoe County District Attorney Secures Five Maximum Jail Terms in Bathroom Spy Camera Case

Media Release
For Immediate Release

Contact: Michelle Bays
775.321.4304 (o); 775.771.6049 (c)

The Washoe County District Attorney’s Office has secured five maximum jail terms in a recent surreptitious recording case involving a defendant who secretly video recorded several victims using a spy camera he installed in a bathroom in his home. Paul Gardner Jr., age 53 from Sparks pled no contest in April to five counts of Unlawful Capture, Distribution, Display or Publish Image of Private Area of Another Person. Four of the five terms Gardner was convicted of were ordered to run consecutive and he was ultimately sentenced to serve a total of 1,456 days in the Washoe County Jail.


Nevada law dictates these charges to be a gross misdemeanor, with a maximum possible penalty of not more than 364 days in jail, and/or a fine of up to $2,000. In addition to the charge not being a felony, a conviction does not require a defendant to undergo a psychosexual evaluation to assist in determining danger to the community and a potential to reoffend.


The case against Gardner began in April 2021 when the Sparks Police Department (SPD) received a report that Gardner had secretly hid a video camera in a bathroom of his house and was in possession of footage depicting several victims showering or using the bathroom. Evidence also showed that Gardner specifically targeted a live-in employee from South America. SPD detectives began an investigation and determined that Gardner had a collection of images and videos from a camera hidden in an outlet switch that were recorded between March and April of 2021. After interviews with the victims and evidence collection, Gardner was arrested, and this office filed formal criminal charges against him.


At sentencing, Deputy District Attorney Jeff Hoppe argued that Gardner deserved a lengthy jail term because his conduct was exploitive, voyeuristic, sexual, and selfish, and that the underlying sexual motive further aggravated his conduct. Additionally, DDA Hoppe argued that Gardner violated the trust of his victims during their most private moments, and he deflected blame by claiming that these victims may have installed the spy camera in the bathroom. DDA Hoppe argued that all these factors warranted a lengthy jail term.
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