Former Westport Lifeguard Sentenced to Probation on Voyeurism Charges

A former Westport, Connecticut, lifeguard who was accused of setting up mini cameras in a lifeguard shack at Burying Hill Beach in Westport in 2015 and charged with more than 400 counts of voyeurism has been sentenced to five years of probation.

Michael Collins, 30 of Westport, allegedly told police that while he might have felt like a creep spying on his coworkers, he kept filming them "anyway," according to a police affidavit.

Westport Parks and Recreation administration contacted police on Aug. 14, 2015 about two unusual clocks found inside the lifeguard shack at Burying Hill Beach in Westport and police said they discovered the clocks had cameras inside of them and female employees said they were suspicious that the clocks had cameras inside. 

Authorities identified Collins as the person suspected of setting up cameras in the employee room to record other people.

Multiple videos were found on the memory cards, some labeled with employee's names and actions such as "my(name redacted)driesoff." Female and male employees can be seen drying off with towels, doing lunges, laying on the couch and change their clothes, an affidavit said. 

Collins can be seen during his shift breaks adjusting the cameras which he appeared to do more often when he was working with a female lifeguard. In the affidavit, Collins said that female employees don't usually work with him because they are uncomfortable with him. Collins can also be seen using a camera with a long lens to take photos outside of a window in the shack, the affidavit said. 

After police obtained a search warrant for Collin's home, he allegedly told police he purchased the spy cameras to make sure employees weren't leaving doors or windows unlocked. 

Police said Collin's home is full of empty Coors light beer cans that reach halfway up the ceiling, several gallon canola oil containers filed with urine and a huge pile of crumpled, used Kleenex tissues next to a bottle of lotion on his desk.

When police searched his home, they found nine sunglasses with cameras in them, laptop computers, DVDs, thumb drives and other electronic and surveillance items police said might have been used for illegal behavior in his bedroom and seized them, police said.

Collin allegedly told police that his only concerns about the police having his computer would be that they found his lifetime collection of pornography, according to the affidavit. 

When police reviewed the devices, they found 391 videos, 160,635 photos, as well as child pornography, and 155 porn sites authorities said. Some images found in the apartment were of numerous women and children in their two piece or one piece bathing suits lying, walking or playing at Bury Hill Beach, police found. 

Police said the images included naked when with nooses around their necks and plastic bags on their heads. 

Hundreds of sexually deviant collages were also found with pictures of the heads of his colleagues glued onto the bodies of pornographic images. The collages had graphic writings sketched on them, police said. 

Collins turned himself in to police  after learning that there was an active warrant for his arrest and pleaded guilty to come charges. 

He was granted probation with special conditions, including having no contact with any victims. Officials said a protective order was issued. 

Collins' lawyer said his client is being treated for psychological problems. 

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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