Local man charged with videotaping women in workplace bathroom

Posted 11/12/19

A local man is alleged to have set up a camera in the women’s bathroom at his former Powell workplace, capturing images of four of his female co-workers in states of undress.

Fifty-year-old …

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Local man charged with videotaping women in workplace bathroom

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A local man is alleged to have set up a camera in the women’s bathroom at his former Powell workplace, capturing images of four of his female co-workers in states of undress.

Fifty-year-old Scott G. Abraham, who lives between Lovell and Byron, was arrested on the allegations Wednesday and made bail on Friday. He’s facing six felony charges.

An investigation by Powell police concluded that Abraham staged a camera in the women’s bathroom at the building where he worked on at least two occasions: in August 2018 — when he secretly photographed four women using the toilet — and again this past June, when an employee spotted the camera as she changed clothes.

Abraham allegedly admitted to placing the camera when confronted by his boss and then Powell police in mid-June.

“… I was stupid enough to put a camera in the women’s bathroom as an experiment, I guess you would say,” he told Powell Police Investigator Chris Wallace, according to an affidavit Wallace submitted in support of the case.

The affidavit quotes Abraham as saying that — while he knew it was wrong — he hadn’t intended to get pictures of women while they undressed, while they were fully naked or while they were going to the bathroom.

However, Abraham allegedly added that, “I was obviously expecting something, underwear or something” and that “obviously, I was hoping to get something out of it.”

Wallace said he wound up finding 102,511 images, 52 videos, 10 audio recordings and other files on a pair of memory cards in the mini video camera found in the bathroom and in a digital audio recorder. Charging documents give no indication of how many files were relevant to the investigation, but some of the footage reportedly showed Abraham setting up the camera in the women’s bathroom.

On Oct. 31, the Park County Attorney’s Office charged Abraham with four felony counts of voyeurism relating to four specific images that he allegedly captured of four women.

Additionally, Abraham is facing two felony charges of intercepting oral communications. Those counts allege that he twice recorded co-workers’ conversations without their knowledge. Charging documents give no indication as to what was discussed in those conversations, but recording them was illegal because Abraham allegedly wasn’t a part of them.

All of the secret video and audio recordings are alleged to have been made sometime between Aug. 23, 2018 and June 18, 2019.

In an effort to protect the identity of the victims in the case, Wallace’s affidavit leaves out other details as well. For instance, the officer does not name the business where the incident occurred, saying only that Abraham had worked there for 13 years.

Abraham was released from the Park County Detention Center on Friday after posting $10,000. While free on bond, Circuit Court Judge Bruce Waters ordered Abraham to have no contact with the victims in the case “in any way, shape or form,” among other conditions.

Deputy Park County Attorney Saige Smith had argued for bond to be set at $50,000, cash or surety. Smith said that with some family out-of-state, Abraham could be a flight risk — and she said he posed a possible threat to the community.

“The allegations against Mr. Abraham are serious,” she said. While he’s working elsewhere now, Smith said prosecutors are concerned “that similar incidents could happen at any other future employment or any place that he frequents.”

She also took the unusual step of asking that Abraham — who’s now living and working in Big Horn County — be prohibited from setting foot in Park County for anything other than court appearances to avoid the “risk of running into the victims.”

After Judge Waters checked to make sure he had heard the request correctly, Abraham’s defense attorney objected.

“A request to ban somebody from the county, that violates Constitutional norms, your honor,” argued Craig Abraham, a Gillette attorney who is also Scott Abraham’s cousin.

Waters saw things similarly, later saying that, “we can’t preclude someone from entering Park County.” The judge instead required Scott Abraham to stay within the Big Horn Basin while out on bond.

Craig Abraham argued that a $10,000 cash or surety bond would be more appropriate.

“What we have here is an individual who’s accused of some rather disgusting things, I’ll give the court that, but he has zero criminal history,” he argued, noting that Scott Abraham has lived in Big Horn County almost his entire life. He also said Scott Abraham would be able to keep his new job if he could post bond by Friday evening.

Craig Abraham further suggested that the state’s concerns about a possible threat to others could be alleviated by making Scott Abraham subject to searches of his electronic devices while out on bond; Judge Waters ultimately chose not to add that as a bond condition, but required a cash bond instead of allowing a surety from a bondsman.

“I am concerned about some risk to the victims,” Waters said.

A preliminary hearing — to determine whether the county attorney’s office has enough evidence to take the case to trial in District Court — is tentatively set for Friday.

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