New Brunswick

Ex-YMCA staffer's trial over hidden locker room camera continues

​In a recorded video interview played at trial, Hugh James Clifford Croll told police he doesn't feel guilty because there was never any bad intention behind placing a hidden video camera in the men's and boys' locker room at the YMCA in Fredericton.

Hugh James Clifford Croll: "I don't think it was illegal....But it's probably morally incorrect"

Ex-YMCA staffer Hugh James Clifford Croll heads into court on Thursday, after being charged with voyeurism. (CBC/Catherine Harrop)

​In a recorded video interview played at trial, Hugh James Clifford Croll told police he doesn't feel guilty because there was never any bad intention behind placing a hidden video camera in the men's and boys' locker room at the YMCA in Fredericton.

The 54-year-old ex-employee of the YMCA is charged with voyeurism for allegedly making video recordings of people between Oct. 1, 2011 and July 31, 2012.

Croll had asked to come into the police station to speak with police.

"I don't think it was illegal," Croll told police.

"Nothing voyeuristic to it. But it's probably morally incorrect," Croll said.

He installed the camera in an attempt to stop thefts in the locker room, according to Croll.

Camera remained after thefts stopped

Croll said the thefts stopped after a member was expelled from the club, but that he decided to keep the camera in the men's and boy's locker room in case he needed it again.

The camera was disconnected after the thefts stopped, according to Croll.

He said he didn't think it was a big deal to keep the camera in the locker room, as it wasn't a family or women's locker room.

Barb Ramsay, the current CEO of the Fredericton YMCA, told the court she called a surveillance expert to audit the building and disable the hidden camera, after she first heard about the hidden camera on Feb. 13, 2014.

Croll was charged last October. The matter became public in April, 2014.

Ramsay also said she sent a note to board members calling for an immediate meeting. The letter was also inadvertently sent to Croll, according to Ramsay.

At the meeting, the Fredericton YMCA CEO said Croll tried to minimize the allegations, saying he didn't know what the big deal was.

Former YMCA CEO aware of camera, Croll says

Croll said he eventually told the former CEO of the Fredericton YMCA, Kathy Russell, about the camera after it was installed.

He said he didn't have authorization to put in the camera, but that Russell was aware he did so afterward.

Croll said Russell told him she didn't want to hear about it.

During cross-examination, the current CEO of the Fredericton YMCA told the court she sent out a note to the YMCA board president, which said the camera was installed with "the endorsement of senior management."

An executive decision was made, along with national YMCA representatives, to call police after the camera was disconnected, according to Ramsay.

Ramsay told the court yesterday she believes there was no sexual intent involved.

The trial resumes Friday afternoon.


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