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Former St. Petersburg man suspected of secretly taping 2,300 women now accused of taping child

ST. PETERSBURG — A former St. Petersburg resident suspected of videotaping under the skirts and dresses of at least 2,300 women is now accused of recording a 5-year-old in a restroom, police said.

William Bernard Wright, 54, of Antioch, Tenn., was arrested in November when police said they caught him using a videocamera hidden in his shoe to look under the skirt of unsuspecting women at the Publix Supermarket at 7999 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. St. N.

He has no criminal record in Tennessee, police said.

St. Petersburg police Maj. Mike Kovacsev said he had never seen such an elaborate scheme with so many potential victims. Police are seeking the public's help in identifying other victims.

"The problem is," Kovacsev said, "people may not have any clue."

Police said Wright admitted last year that he went to local stores with the shoe camera. He let police search his computer and they found 200 video files with images of about 2,300 women photographed under their dresses or in some state of undress, police said.

He was charged with nine misdemeanor counts of video voyeurism for the cases in which the victims could be identified.

On Thursday, Wright appeared at a pretrial hearing where detectives charged him with another count of video voyeurism.

The latest charge is a felony because it involved a child. Police said he concealed a videocamera in the restroom at a former workplace and videotaped the daughter of a co-worker.

Kovacsev said Wright was adamant about never video recording a juvenile. "He tried not to take pictures of juveniles," he said.

Detectives are attempting to locate other women who were victimized during the time he is suspected of being active, which includes most of 2009 until his arrest in November, police said.

Police said Wright would walk up and closely stand behind women wearing skirts or dresses. Sometimes he would talk to them about a store item while standing very close to them, police said.

He is believed to have frequented numerous stores in St. Petersburg and Tampa, including Walmart, Home Depot, Sears, Target, Staples, Office Depot, Winn-Dixie, Dollar General, Big Lots and the St. Petersburg Ale House.

Police ask anyone with information to call Detective Regina Desmarais at (727) 893-4824.

Former St. Petersburg man suspected of secretly taping 2,300 women now accused of taping child 10/22/10 [Last modified: Friday, October 22, 2010 10:57pm]
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