Camera hidden in women’s restroom ‘not a crime’

A 41-year-old man on trial for secretly filming dozens of women in the restrooms of Stockholm-area cafés has been acquitted of sexual harassment charges.

Camera hidden in women's restroom 'not a crime'

While the Stockholm district court found that the women had been subjected to an invasion of privacy, it ruled that the secret recordings could not be considered sexual harassment, the Metro newspaper reports.

The man’s surreptitious filming was revealed when a woman noticed a small camera mounted on the toilet as she was sitting down in the restroom of a café in Stockholm.

“This now must lead to a change in the law. A law which stops this trend and is keeps up with the times,” the woman who discovered the camera told the newspaper.

The 41-year-old is the latest person to be freed from punishment for secretly filming others.

In October, the Supreme Court ruled that filming a couple having sex without their knowledge should not be considered harassment.

Sweden’s justice ministry is currently reviewing comments on a new law to address cases of unwanted photographing which would also outlaw video cameras hidden in public placed by “dirty old men”.

“Most [of the comments] are positive, but a number of adjustments [to the bill] are likely needed. Also under discussion is whether the spreading of recorded material can be punishable,” the ministry’s Katrin Hollunger Wågnert told Metro.

If the new law comes into force as currently worded, people found guilty of filming someone in a private environment or in intimate situation without their knowledge could face up to two years in prison.