Quispamsis woman waives publication ban to expose voyeur father

A young woman whose biological father will have to enter the National Sex Offender registry after spying on his daughter with a camera that she says he installed in her bedroom when she was as young as 12, is hoping her story will encourage other victims of voyeurism to press charges instead of feeling silenced by shame.

David Michael Wilson pleaded guilty to voyeurism after computer drive discovered with photos of daughter

Bonnie Wilson asked that her identity not be protected by a court-ordered publication ban so that it would be publicly known that her father pleaded guilty to voyeurism for taking thousands of photos of her in her bedroom without her knowledge. (Bonnie Wilson/Facebook)

A young woman whose biological father will have to enter the National Sex Offender registry after spying on his daughter with a camera that she says he installed in her bedroom when she was as young as 12, is hoping her story will encourage other victims of voyeurism to press charges instead of feeling silenced by shame.

"Sometimes victims feel like they should have known better or known it was being done," said 23-year-old Bonnie Wilson of Quispamsis.

"You should never feel that way," she said.

Bonnie's father, David Michael Wilson, of Simpson Drive in Saint John, pleaded guilty in July to one charge of voyeurism on a police information that said he surreptitiously recorded his daughter between March 2007 and March 2014 in circumstances where she had a reasonable expectation of privacy.

A child pornography charge against the 41-year-old was withdrawn.

Wilson was sentenced last week to a nine-month conditional sentence plus two years of supervised probation.

He has also been ordered to participate in programs for sex offenders.

The Criminal Code provides for a publication ban on the identities of complainants of sexual offences.

But Bonnie Wilson asked the judge to waive it.

Bonnie Wilson's privacy was invaded by her own father, and has a message for other victims of voyeurism. She told her story to CBC's Rachel Cave. 12:22

She said suppressing information that would identify her, would also shield her father and she didn't think that was fair.

"He was the person who committed the crime," she said.

"I felt it was important that we put it out there."

Mother made discovery

Wilson says the images weren't discovered until after she had moved out of her parents' home and had already started second year studies at university.

She says it was her mother who found the hard drive from the desktop computer that Wilson remembered her father installing in her room about 10 years ago.

"I was just excited to get it," said Wilson, who thought she would be using the camera to chat with friends.

I wasn't aware that in a space that should have been private and to myself that anybody could have been watching.- Bonnie Wilson

"I wasn't aware that in a space that should have been private and to myself that anybody could have been watching," she said.

Wilson said her father had taken "hundreds or thousands" of pictures of her in various states of undress, and in intimate moments such as coming or going from the shower.

"I never got to see the complete hard drive. I only saw a selection of photos," she said.

Wilson says as far as she knows, the images were never distributed or sold.

Family torn apart

But the moment they came to light, she says her family was torn apart.

"It was a difficult and hard decision for my mother," said Wilson.

"She felt bad that she didn't know what was going on."

Bonnie Wilson is now studying social work and hopes to become a counsellor or someone who works with the victims of crime. (Bonnie Wilson/Facebook)
Wilson says her mother made it clear from the start, that she was willing to risk losing everything to pursue justice for her daughter.

She says she and her mother worried about how they would manage financially, anticipating that Bonnie's father would stop helping them to pay the bills.

Wilson said her father did move out but she and her mother managed to hang onto the house.

Wilson had been hoping her father would get at least six months in jail.

Instead, he got three months house arrest as part of his conditional sentence but will be monitored for longer.

"It's going to be several years before he … can be a regular citizen," she said.

"And he ruined all connections with his family on top of that."

Believes sentence a deterrent

Wilson says she thinks the sentence will act as a deterrent.

"I feel like if other people were to see that and know about it, they might stop and think twice about what they're doing," she said.

Wilson and her partner have a 14-month old son and she says they look forward to having more children.

She says her partner has been supportive throughout the ordeal.

Wilson already has her undergraduate degree and she says she's been accepted into a social work program.

 "I hope I can be one of the counsellors, or victim-aid people or lawyers or assistants ... I hope I can become one of those people who provide help to others," she said.