A lawsuit filed in district court last week alleges that a fitness center franchisee used a surveillance camera to watch a woman undress prior to using a tanning booth.
The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Randall D. Roiger, a Snap Fitness franchisee in Annandale, Minn., allegedly watched the woman as she “repeatedly removed her clothing … without knowing she was being viewed.”
The woman, who the Star Tribune did not identify, but is named in the suit, reportedly noticed the camera in January of 2019, at which time she notified the police. Roiger was later charged with interference with privacy, a gross misdemeanor. Snap Fitness is also listed as a defendant in the suit.
A criminal complaint claimed that Roiger used the camera “to make sure individuals had purchased tanning booth minutes and quit watching once that was confirmed or when people started undressing.”
In a written response, attorneys for the defendants wrote that the suit should be dismissed, and denied that Roiger had viewed the woman while she was in the booth. That response acknowledged the presence of the camera, but claimed that Roiger’s “actions were lawful and designed to prevent theft and unauthorized use” of the tanning booth.
Lori Peterson, the plaintiff’s attorney, told the Star Tribune that while her client did not personally witness Roiger viewing her in a state of undress, “2 plus 2 equals 4.”
“By the time she saw [the camera], it had apparently been there for weeks,” Peterson said. “The camera was clearly put there to view people as they undressed.”
The suit, which seeks at least $50,000 in damages, also alleges that the club failed to properly warn or notify clients that they’d be subject to surveillance while in the booth — but defense attorneys countered that patrons were given such warnings in the form of signage posted throughout the club, including near the entry to the booth.
Roiger, when reached for comment told the Star Tribune that the camera “has been down for over a year.”