YORK COUNTY, SC — A Rock Hill man who put a hidden camera in a tenant's bathroom avoided going to prison Monday.
Doug Veihdeffer, 61, admitted hiding cameras in a bathroom in his home to watch his tenants using the bathroom and taking a shower. Those tenants were friends who had moved in with him and were paying rent.
One of them discovered the cameras when he heard a strange noise, said assistant solicitor Sharon Kopp.
"He was shaving and heard a noise and it was the lens moving, and that's when he reported it to police," Kopp said.
Veihdeffer has no criminal record, and his lawyer, Gary Lemel, told the court that this behavior was not his usual character.
"He made a bad choice, on one particular situation, and those choices are going to haunt him for the rest of his life," Lemel said.
However, prosecutors pointed to internet searches that police investigators found on Veihdeffer's cell phone. They showed that he had looked up information online about hiding cameras, as well as knock out and date rape drugs.
"Specifically searching for something that you could put on a piece of fabric, to knock somebody out instantly," Kopp said.
Lemel said that there was no evidence that Veihdeffer ever purchased any such products.
Prosecutors pointed out that he also had a hidden camera on his boat. It was a place he would bring friends and allow them to change clothes.
The victims were in court Monday, but did not speak. They wanted prison time for Veihdeffer, but he was sentenced to two years' probation. He will serve three years in prison if he violates that probation.
Veihdeffer will also have to register as a sex offender.
Cox Media Group