Man accused of placing hidden camera in neighbor's bathroom; police looking for additional victims
AUSTIN, Texas (FOX 7 Austin) - An Austin man is accused of placing a hidden camera in his neighbor's bathroom and using it to capture images of them undressing and nude. Austin police believe he has additional victims.
On Thursday, police arrested 50-year-old Michael Sagues and at a press conference Friday, Austin Police Assistant Chief Jennifer Stephenson said Sagues has been charged with burglary with intent to commit invasive recording. Court documents indicate he has been charged with first degree burglary of habitation.
Police say they were first introduced to the case in March, when one of Sagues' neighbors discovered a camera in their bathroom during home renovations. During demolition, a cut-out hole was discovered behind the bathroom mirror. Behind the hole and insulation, a camera was found plugged into an electrical outlet police believe Sagues installed.
One of the victims told police their two teenage daughters, who once swam at the Sagues' and played with his children, primarily use the bathroom.
A few hours after the victims discovered the camera, police believe Sagues broke into the home, wearing a balaclava and gloves, and took the camera back.
Police seized Sagues' laptops, phones and other electronic devices. It took them months to comb through more than a million images until they were able to confirm this week that Sagues used the hidden camera to capture images in his neighbor's bathroom.
Sagues is currently charged with placing cameras in only that home, but Stephenson said the department believes there are additional victims.
She says the department has been able to confirm that at least one other neighbor was victimized and has notified the neighbor. She says photos were also discovered of an unidentified bathroom.
"We recently located evidence that the original complainant was not the only victim, so we are now moving our focus to locating any additional victims that might be out there," she said.
Stephenson said APD officers are talking to those who live within 400 feet of Sagues' home. An officer at the press conference explained that the department selected the range because officers believe Sagues may have used WiFi to gain remote access to the cameras.
In court documents, an officer stated that the camera Sagues used would have enabled him to remotely access images through various phone apps.
Anyone with information is urged to contact the Austin Police Departments Burglary Unit.