2.5 year suspended sentence for Ghent Peeping Tom

A court in the East Flemish city of Ghent has given a two and a half year suspended sentence to a man found guilty of having illicitly filmed women while they were showering and changing in the changing room of a sport hall. The man posted the footage of the women in a state of undress on a Dutch web forum. 

In addition to a suspended prison sentence the man has also been banned from working in any job in which he would come into contact with minors.

Unbeknown to them, the man shot footage of 12 women while they were naked. The illicit footage was shot in the showers and changing rooms at the Ghent College of Higher Education’s sport hall.  The man was a youth trainer of a martial arts club that uses the sport hall. He placed a camera in a hole that he had made in the door of the women’s changing room. Two of his female victims were just 16. He published the footage on a Dutch internet forum.   

The man’s suspended sentence is subject to him complying with a number of conditions. One of these is that he must seek help from a psychologist. In passing sentence the judge acknowledged that the man has recognised that he has issues, that he has spoken to his victims and that he had no prior criminal record.  

Voyeurism, as long as no force or violence was used against the victims, was not a crime in Belgium until the law was changed in 2016.