Man who hid cameras in bathroom gets 12 years

Video footage shows teenage girl showering
Ozaukee Press staff

A 51-year-old man accused of hiding cameras in the communal bathroom of a Saukville apartment building, one of which contained footage of what appeared to be a teenage girl showering, was sentenced to 12 years in prison last week.

Saukville resident Michael S. Ward, who was arrested in May 2021 after authorities recovered memory cards from the cameras and, in addition to finding the video of the teenage girl, discovered an image of Ward that he apparently took by accident while setting up the cameras, was also sentenced by Ozaukee County Circuit Judge Steve Cain to 10 years of extended supervision following his incarceration.

In addition to finding the image Ward accidentally took of himself on one of the cameras, authorities who went to his apartment to interview him noticed his laptop was on a coffee table in the center of the room. Eventually, it went into screen saver mode and started playing a montage of photos saved on the computer, one of which was of a woman showering that was apparently recorded by a hidden camera.

Ward pleaded guilty in January to two counts of possessing child pornography and one count of recording an intimate image without consent.

According to the complaint, a woman who lives in the apartment building and cleans the communal bathroom told authorities that on May 14 she found two cameras hidden in a fabric softener box taped underneath a cabinet above the toilets and facing the shower in the bathroom. She said the cameras weren’t there two days earlier when she last cleaned.

Officers who examined footage from the cameras found a video titled “Molly showering,” which was taken on Jan. 25, 2019, and showed what appeared to be a teenage girl showering. The video was not taken in the bathroom where the cameras were found.

Also found on the cameras were videos of the Saukville apartment building showing two men using the bathroom.

An agent from the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigations inspected Ward’s computer and found three pornographic images of children, one of which was labeled “Alia and 12-year-old Lucy,” the complaint states. Authorities believe the girls depicted in the images were between the ages of 11 and 13.

Officers who searched Ward’s apartment also found a bag containing girls’ underwear with names and dates on them, according to the complaint. One pair was labeled with a girl’s name and what officers believe is her 2017 birthdate.

Ward must register as a sex offender.



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