A former employee of the Department of Veterans Affairs was sentenced to four months in jail for using a hidden camera to record his co-workers as they used the bathroom at the Pensacola VA Joint Ambulatory Care Center.
“The Department of Veterans Affairs Police and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of the Inspector General are to be commended for their investigation of this crime,” Jason R. Coody, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, said in a release. “The defendant’s actions were a direct affront to his co-workers’ expectation of privacy.”
Friday, the Department of Justice announced that Robert Sampson, 52, of Gulf Breeze, Florida, was sentenced to four months in jail, plus an additional year of supervised release for the charges of video voyeurism and disorderly conduct. Additionally, Sampson is ordered to pay $1,200 in fines and restitution to his victims.
Evidence presented at the sentencing hearing stated that while employed at the VA, Sampson placed a hidden camera disguised as a cellular phone charger power adapter in a restroom at the Pensacola VA Joint Ambulatory Care Center.
Between May 2020 and June 2020, Sampson recorded eight VA employees on approximately 17 different occasions on the hidden camera, according to prosecutors. When Sampson’s co-workers discovered the recording device and notified VA Police, Sampson attempted to wrestle his co-workers for the device.
Sampson later admitted that he had placed the device in the restroom to record individuals in the bathroom, and that he would watch the footage later.
Following his four-month jail sentence, Sampson will serve a one-year term of supervised release. As a condition of this supervised release, Sampson will have a “limitation” placed on his ability to use computers and the internet.
“Deviant acts of voyeurism such as this will be aggressively prosecuted, and the offender will be held accountable,” Coody said.
James R. Webb is a rapid response reporter for Military Times. He served as a US Marine infantryman in Iraq. Additionally, he has worked as a Legislative Assistant in the US Senate and as an embedded photographer in Afghanistan.