- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 19, 2015

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas City tattoo parlor owner has been charged with repeatedly watching five people use the bathroom in the apartment of a 25-year-old employee who lived above his business.

Rodney Sanell, 48, also watched the employee and her boyfriend several times in the woman’s bedroom, investigators said in a probable cause statement in support of 42 felony invasion of privacy counts filed Tuesday.

Police found 11 pinhole cameras in the woman’s apartment, including four in the bathroom and three in her bedroom, after suspicious devices were reported early last year.

A tattoo parlor maintenance man who was modeling the bathroom in his own home was returning a tool he borrowed from a woodshop connected to the business on March 7, 2014, when he noticed a box containing a security camera hidden inside a smoke detector.

The man didn’t think anything of it until he went to the woman’s apartment to take a shower and saw a similar-looking smoke detector in the kitchen, prosecutors said. The man, woman and her boyfriend went through the apartment and found four of the smoke detectors, with wires running through the ceiling and walls.

The wires were traced to a room in the basement of the business, where they were connected to a computer monitor containing 11 different images from the woman’s apartment, investigators said.

The woman said she had been working for Sanell since she moved to Kansas City in late 2010, and had moved into the apartment in June 2013.

She told police Sanell had remodeled the bathroom in late 2013, when he installed a new vanity. Two of the hidden cameras were hidden inside the vanity facing the toilet and two were aimed toward the shower.

Detectives watched video recorded from the digital hard drive and saw the woman, her boyfriend, the maintenance worker, the woman’s female roommate and her boyfriend in various stages of undress in the bathroom. They also observed recordings of the woman and her boyfriend in various stages of undress in her bedroom, the probable cause statement said.

Sanell was charged with one count for each time one of the five victims was recorded. He was being held on $100,000 cash-only bond, and is scheduled for a probation violation hearing on Thursday.

His attorney didn’t immediately return a call on Wednesday seeking comment.


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