A hidden camera placed inside a tanning bed area and discovered by an Anytime Fitness employee in New Castle, Indiana, led to an arrest and charges against the suspect, who had been a member of the club.
The case was opened on March 23, and the suspect, Zachary Chalfant, was arrested April 1 on two charges of felony voyeurism. The camera turned over to police allegedly contained three recordings: a nude Anytime Fitness employee, Chalfant's face and a blank screen, according to a CBS4 report.
Chalfant pleaded not guilty to the charges on Monday in Henry County Circuit Court, and a jury trial was scheduled for July 26, according to court records.
In a statement to Club Industry about the incident, Anytime Fitness spokesman Mark Daly called the Anytime Fitness owner in New Castle one of the company's "finest franchisees" and one "who trains his staff very well to meet the needs of members and protect their privacy."
"Anytime Fitness, of course, is a franchise, and each gym is owned and operated by an independent franchisee owner," Daly said. "It is no surprise to me that what this former member attempted to do was detected very quickly. I’m sure the staff is trained to be on the lookout for anything that is out of place. As soon as the miniature camera was detected, it was very quickly turned over to police, along with surveillance video of the suspect entering and leaving the tanning room. Staff at the gym cooperated fully with the investigation. We at the corporate headquarters of Anytime Fitness are very proud of the staff at the New Castle gym. As soon as they alerted us that a camera had been discovered, the suspect was locked out of the gym, and he no longer has access to any of the Anytime gyms across the country."
The case in Indiana unfortunately illustrates the problems alleged voyeurs can create for health clubs and fitness centers. Last month, a member filed a civil case against Life Time Fitness and an alleged voyeur, a club employee, in Colorado. Last year, a man who videotaped boys in the locker room of a Minnesota YMCA was sentenced to 60 days in jail and two years of probation after pleading guilty. Those are just a few recent cases profiled by Club Industry.
What does your club do to prevent voyeurs from preying on your club? Share your solutions in the comments section below.