Man denies charges shooting video up skirts
By Susan Smallheer
Staff Writer | March 20,2014
BRATTLEBORO — A 44-year-old Whitingham man pleaded innocent Tuesday to charges that he used his smartphone to videotape the “intimate areas” of teenaged girls shopping at a Brattleboro grocery store.
Robert R. Smith of Burrington Hill Road was charged with voyeurism and prohibited acts, both misdemeanor charges, and was released on conditions after his arraignment.
The incidents took place on Jan. 28, at Hannaford Supermarket in Brattleboro.
Smith was caught on the store’s video surveillance cameras, and when Brattleboro police distributed a photograph of the man photographing the teenagers at the store, the police received several calls identifying the man as Smith.
About a week after the incidents, Feb. 5, Smith called Brattleboro Police, and said he was the guy they were looking for and he was sorry for (what) he did and he didn’t know why he did it, Detective Michael Carrier wrote in an affidavit.
Smith met with Carrier the next day, Feb. 6, and acknowledged he was the man depicted in the store’s video surveillance still photos, and signed and dated one of the photos, according to court documents.
Smith said he had taken three pictures of various girls using his smartphone, one wearing a shirt and tights, and another wearing a skirt.
Court affidavits said Smith put his smartphone in a shopping basket and then pushed or kicked the basket so that it was under the girl’s skirt.
“Smith told me he also used his cellphone to video record underneath (one of the girl’s) skirt while she was standing by the cooler,” Carrier wrote.
“Smith said he was planning on looking at the pictures and video later on but denied that he was going to view the pictures and video for sexual gratification,” the detective said.
Carrier quoted Smith as saying “‘it was a stupid move,’ and he ‘did it for the thrill of getting away with it,’” according to court records.
Smith told Carrier that he lost his phone the day he called the police “and had to get a new one.”