Nfld. & Labrador

3 months' house arrest for man who recorded video of gym co-workers

A man who set up a camera to record women he worked with at a GoodLife gym in Mount Pearl has been sentenced to house arrest and probation.

Alex Seymour recorded 3 female co-workers while they were changing in an office

Alex Seymour sits in court as he is sentenced Monday. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

A man who set up a camera to record female co-workers while they undressed in offices at a gym in Mount Pearl has been sentenced to house arrest and probation.

One of the victims of the voyeur says he was a "master manipulator" and "the last person in the world I would have thought capable of doing something like this."

Jess Whittle was in provincial court in St. John's Monday morning when Alex Seymour, 24, was sentenced to three months house arrest, and put on 12 months probation for videotaping three female co-workers at GoodLife Fitness in Mount Pearl in 2016.

Seymour had admitted to placing an iPod in offices where Whittle, and the other women, were changing.

"I never know how I feel about it until a couple of days or a week after, to be honest. It's so nerve racking coming here," said Whittle, commenting on Seymour's sentence. 

"I do feel like the judge really listened and took everything into account that she could."

One of Seymour's victims, Jess Whittle, says she thinks some prison time for Seymour would have been good. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

But, some prison time would have been a good thing, said Whittle.

"There's a part of me that would, that would have liked that. For him actually to have to go and face it in a bigger way than just being in his own home."

'We all trusted him'

In sentencing, Judge Jacqueline Brazil said she took into account  Seymour's age, the fact that he doesn't have a criminal record, his guilty pleas, and that he genuinely seemed remorseful.

Whittle said she isn't sure just how genuine Seymour really is, calling him as "master manipulator."

"He was our friend. We all trusted him," she said, referring to the other women Seymour spied on.

"We cared about him. The last person in the world that I would have thought was capable of doing something like this. So, he's very good at acting one way and doing other things when no one is looking."

The surreptitious recordings happened between March and August 2016 at GoodLife Fitness in Mount Pearl. (Glenn Payette/CBC News)

Whittle said she doesn't know if men like Seymour appreciate the impact this has on their victims, but she said they need help.

"Find a resource somewhere where there's counselling or someone — talk to someone before you act on it," she said.

"I'm sure there's tons of programs and support systems out there that men could get help with problems like this." 

Support for victims

Whittle said she's somewhat disappointed by the way the system treated her and the other victims, arguing a more personal touch would go a long way. 

"It would be great to have an actual human that calls you and offers you their assistance or asks you how you are doing," said Whittle.

"It's scary when you are involved in something like this, to get a letter like that in the mail that says 'victim impact' and you realize, you are a victim and it's now in your hands. You have to be the one to reach out when, sometimes you just don't have it in you to be that one to reach out."

Judge Jacqueline Brazil said it was important that the sentence denounce what Seymour did, but also take rehabilitation into account. (Glenn Payette/CBC)

At the sentencing hearing on May 10, Seymour's lawyer, Ellen O'Gorman, said what Seymour did were "crimes of opportunity."

On Monday, the judge said she didn't accept that, and that what Seymour did was clearly planned.

Crown prosecutor Jennifer Colford wanted Seymour to get three to six months in prison, plus probation.

O'Gorman had suggested a conditional discharge or a suspended sentence.

Brazil said the sentence had to denounce and deter what Seymour did, while also taking Seymour's rehabilitation into consideration.

In addition to the house arrest and probation, Seymour will also be on the sex offender registry for ten years.


Glenn Payette


A veteran journalist with more than 30 years' experience, Glenn Payette is a videojournalist with CBC News in St. John's.