Penticton man given probation for photographing naked woman

Woman observed a flash while she was changing at the Penticton Community Centre pool

A Penticton man who took a picture of a woman in the Penticton Community Centre change room has pled guilty to mischief.

Stephen Lechinsky, 41, was sentenced to a conditional discharge with three years probation in a joint submission by Crown and the defence at the Penticton courthouse on Tuesday. A charge of secretly observe/record nudity in private place was stayed.

Judge Meg Shaw said that on Nov. 27, 2011 Lechinsky was in the family change room area at the Penticton Community Centre pool, just adjacent to the women’s change room. A woman, who was with her young son, observed a flash while she was naked and saw a blue camera from the change area. Lechinsky was identified as the person operating the camera.

“Mr. Lechinsky gave a statement to police admitting he used both a dental mirror and a camera to observe the woman naked and take a photo,” said Shaw during her sentencing.

Since the incident, Shaw said Lechinsky has sought counselling, admitting he has an addiction to adult pornography. Defence council Tyrone Duerr told the court in his submission the apology letter Lechinsky wrote to the victim is one of the “most heartfelt and genuine apology letters” he has ever read. The letter was given to victim services to pass onto the woman, who was not at the sentencing.

“I would like to apologize to her. Never have I thought in a hundred, thousand, million years I would be in situation like this,” said Lechinsky, who has no prior criminal record.

Judge Shaw imposed conditions on Lechinsky that include no contact with the victim or her children, who were not known to the man at the time of the incident, not to attend or be within 10 metres of the Penticton Community Centre, not to attend at any public swimming pool or any change areas to which the public has access.

Shaw also said Lechinsky must seek counselling as directed by his probation officer for pornography specifically and not be in possession of any cameras or video recording equipment outside of his residence. Lechinsky was also ordered to advise any partner he enters into a relationship with about his charges, the basic circumstances and his sentence while on his three-year probation. This must be confirmed by his probation officer that the partner was advised.

“This is about the safety of individuals until Mr. Lechinsky gets the appropriate time passed to get his addiction under control,” said Shaw, adding she believes he is taking the right steps towards dealing with his addiction.