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Man accused of photographing Pinellas girl as she showered

ST. PETERSBURG — A Chicago man accused of hiding a camera in a bathroom to take pictures of a girl while she showered was extradited Sunday to Pinellas County, authorities said.

Paul C. Austin, 35, of 2746 N Kimball Ave., Chicago, was charged with video voyeurism, a felony.

According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, the girl was 11 when Austin hid a digital camera in boxes inside a garbage can and set it to take photos of the girl as she showered.

The incidents happened between Oct. 21 and Nov. 11 in unincorporated Pinellas, near St. Petersburg, said Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Cecilia Barreda.

Barreda said a family member of the girl found the photographs by accident while she was looking for other photos in Austin's camera, and when the relative confronted Austin in November, he fled to Chicago, where he lives.

The family member approached the Sheriff's Office on Nov. 25 and gave detectives a memory card from Austin's camera, and during a monitored phone call, Austin admitted to taking the photos, the warrant states.

Detectives assigned to the Sheriff's Office's Crimes Against Children Unit obtained the arrest warrant, which was served in Chicago on April 3 with help from the U.S. Marshals Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force.

The girl was not named because of the nature of the charges.

Austin was interviewed by the Cook County Sheriff's Office in Illinois and gave consent to have his computer and camera searched. Nude photos of the girl were found, in addition to nude photos of other "apparent minors," according to the warrant.

Austin was being held Monday in Pinellas County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bail.

Man accused of photographing Pinellas girl as she showered 04/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 12, 2010 6:36pm]
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