The man who was arrested for recording his tenants in their bathroom was sentenced Tuesday to probation.
Riley Sills, 38, said his motives were not sexual, and the court believed him.
“The tenants agreed to his terms to not use alcohol or drugs and he suspected they were,” said Sills’ attorney, Dick Mulligan. “He put video equipment in his bathroom, and it did capture them putting something up their noses. He confronted them instead of just throwing them out. It was stupid, and he admits that.”
Sills, an admitted drug user, who said he has been sober for four years, said he didn’t know placing hidden cameras in his tenant’s bathroom and bedroom was illegal.
“I see that this was illegal now, but at the time I thought I was protecting myself,” Sills told Judge Timothy Day. “I didn’t want to be throwing someone out because I’m paranoid. I did it more, like, for proof.”
Sills has an extensive criminal history, which his attorney said stems from his drug addiction, and the felony voyeurism charge violated his probation.
The court has revoked and reinstated Sills’ probation three times, Day said. One of those violations resulted in him spending a year in prison.
“I could reimpose those sentences,” Day said. “That would overlook the fact that, while this offense is not excusable, there are mitigating factors.”
Day said he had to take into account that it wasn’t a violent offense and the fact that Sills has maintained sobriety and stable employment.
“I’m going to give you another chance here,” Day said.
Day told Sills to have no contact with the victim, who previously said the ordeal ruined her life.
“I just don’t want people to find pictures of me naked when they Google my name,” she wrote in a letter to the court.
The sentence came after Sills entered a guilty plea. Sills will serve three and a half years of supervised probation.
“There were plenty of ways to handle that situation,” Day said. “That wasn’t clear thinking on your part.”