Texas

Man accused of installing hidden camera over neighbor’s shower gets into heated argument with judge

Brian Burnett is accused of invasive visual recording after investigators said he set up a spy camera in his neighbor’s bathroom to watch her shower.

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas. A man accused of installing a hidden camera at his neighbor’s house appeared in court on Tuesday. The judge wants Brian Burnett to stand trial again next week.

Burnett, 48, was released from jail after posting a $5,000 bail when he was arrested last week. He is charged with invasive videotaping, a felony.

As he walked into the courthouse, he did not comment when asked if he had anything to say about the accusation. His lawyer had something to say.

“My client is innocent. I intend to prove it,” said lawyer Penny Vimychak White.

A woman living in a townhouse on Strak Road in northern Harris County said she found several holes in her townhouse’s bathroom ceiling in November.

According to investigators, she told a friend about the holes, and he went to the attic and found a camera with a power supply on the floor right above the bathroom. He also found an SD card in the camera. According to court records, when he inserted the card into his phone, there were several videos of the woman taking a shower.

Burnett is accused of tearing down the drywall separating two attics. According to court documents, the camera was wedged into a hole in the attic floor directly above the bathroom.

Court documents say at least three files were found on the SD card, including a two-minute video of a naked woman in the shower. There was also a video of a naked man in another bathroom and a third video from a camera during installation. The third video did not show who installed the camera. Officials said about 20 files had already been exported from the SD card.

Hot exchange in court

As part of the terms of the bail, Burnett was prohibited from returning to his home. This condition led to a heated exchange between him and the judge last Friday during the trial on likely grounds, with Burnett claiming his neighbor had already moved out. Shortly after the dispute, the judge removed Burnett from the courtroom.

On Tuesday, Burnett’s lawyer asked the judge to lift the restriction, which he did, despite prosecutors arguing that although the victim had moved out, another woman was moving into the townhouse next month and repairs to the attic still needed to be done.

“Everyone should feel safe and, in fact, be safe and comfortable in their home. And any cases like this — not just this particular one — where there is concern that someone is not safe and their home is not private is always incredibly touching,” Harris County District Attorney John Hyde said in a statement.

Burnett is also prohibited from contacting the victim in the case.

Hyde said prosecutors would look into the videos they received from investigators. He also said the judge wanted more information about the damaged attic.

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