Sunday, February 6, 2011

Fresno insurance company owner sentenced to 10 days jail, 4 years probation for peeping on female employee

A Fresno, CA boss was sentenced to 10 days jail, 20 days in a work program and four years probation Wednesday, January 26 for taking indecent photos of one of his female employees in December 2009. 51 year old insurance company owner Wellman Shew was convicted of misdemeanor peeping after he was found with "disturbing" images on his work computer. If Shew violates his probation, he will be sent to prison and the four years he is scheduled to spend on the sex offender registry will become life.

Police later searched Shew's business on North Cedar Avenue near Alluvial Avenue and found a video that showed a female employee using the restroom. Police said officers also found a fake plant on top of the toilet with a secret compartment and two boxes with holes on the side.

In court Wednesday, [prosecutor Tim]Galstan, a deputy district attorney, informed the judge that there could be multiple victims, because Shew had told police that he was not fixated on just the victim in this case. "I just kind of rotate from people to people," Shew said, according to Galstan.

Just before sentencing, Shew told Judge Dennis Peterson in Fresno County Superior Court that his actions stemmed from a porn addiction, and "Hopefully, she will find in her heart to forgive me." Defense attorney Michael Idiart said that his client has tried to make amends by attending marital counseling, paying a civil settlement, and that "He accepts his punishment and wants to move forward."

The victim also made a statment to the court, asking Judge Peterson to make her peeper register as a sex offender. "Knowledge is power - I want future employees to know what he did." Peterson, when announcing his sentence, cited the vulnerability of the victim and the "sophistication and planning" of the unlawful recording.

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