SAWYER COUNTY -- A criminal complaint has been filed in Sawyer County Circuit Court against a Hayward, WI man for allegedly placing a hidden surveillance camera in the bedroom of another individual and capturing intimate videos of that person.
In July 2021, the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office received a report alleging that Joseph Girard, of Hayward, WI, had placed a hidden camera in the bedroom of another individual, and that he had admitted to capturing a thousand videos of the person. The report also alleged that Girard had sent dozens of harassing messages to the person.
Law enforcement contacted Girard and spoke to him about the allegations. Girard stated that he did not believe he was harassing the person. The criminal complaint filed against him goes on to say that Girard also claimed to have videos showing the person committing crimes and he asked that a Deputy come to his residence to pick it up.
The Deputy told Girard that he needed to stop contacting the person and that Girard could come to the Sawyer County Sheriff’s Office and file a report.
Girard did allegedly provide multiple memory card storage devices to law enforcement, and there were thousands of videos on at least one of those memory cards. When law enforcement reviewed the videos, they discovered multiple intimate video clips showing Girard and the other individual.
Law enforcement received information from multiple sources indicating that Girard had made statements to multiple people about the situation. Based on this information, it was determined that more videos existed. A search warrant was obtained and executed on July 15, 2021, at Girard’s residence in Washburn County.
When questioned about the videos and the alleged hidden surveillance camera, Girard stated that the individual had wanted security cameras installed due to break-ins that were occurring in the area. However, the complainant goes on to state that Girard said that the only camera he installed was in the bedroom and that the individual did not know the location of the camera that he installed.
Girard allegedly went on to describe the surveillance camera and then told law enforcement that they could find it inside his residence. It was located and placed into evidence, along with a methamphetamine pipe. The criminal complaint goes on to state that law enforcement also found a .40 caliber loaded handgun in the pocket of a recliner inside the residence that was positioned facing the front door. Loaded handgun magazines were found on a counter in the residence and also in Girard’s truck.
Girard is charged in Sawyer County Circuit Court with Class I Felony Capture an Intimate Representation Without Consent and Misdemeanor Invasion of Privacy - Surveillance Device. At a hearing on July 16, 2021, the Court placed Girard on a $5,000 signature bond with a $5,000 cash component, which was posted several days later.
Online circuit court records show that in Washburn County Circuit Court, Girard is also charged with Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia stemming from the date of the search warrant.
Girard is scheduled to have Initial Appearance hearings in both counties later in August 2021.
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Pursuant to the direction of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, as found in Supreme Court Rule 20:3.6, Trial Publicly, you are advised that a charge is merely an accusation and that a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.