Lawsuit Alleges Women Were Secretly Filmed in Restrooms

Two women employed by a Highland Park Village boutique have filed a lawsuit against a store security guard and his alleged employer claiming that they were secretly videotaped by the guard while in a private restroom.

The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County on April 10, names as defendants Ronnie Smith and his alleged employer, St. Moritz Security Services, Inc. According to the petition, St. Moritz Security provides security services to luxury retailers “throughout Highland Park Village” and nationwide.

According to the lawsuit, Smith, a security officer for St. Moritz Security who was assigned to luxury retailer Vacheron Constantin, hid video and audio recording devices in private restrooms at various boutiques, including Vacheron Constantin, and recorded the women and others “during their most vulnerable and exposed moments without their knowledge or consent.”

Smith was arrested after authorities discovered his phone set up to record in a restroom at Highland Park Village’s Starbucks. Upon examination, “over 25 videos and audio recordings of several individuals (mainly adult females)” were found on the phone, according to the lawsuit.

The filing alleges that Smith already had a criminal history when he was hired by St. Moritz Security. The company either performed a background check on Smith and hired him despite his history, or recklessly failed to perform a background check, as well as did not properly supervise Smith, according to the petition. 

The women are seeking to recover against Smith and St. Moritz Security for the invasion of their privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and against St. Moritz Security for negligence, gross negligence, and violation of the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act.

The petition was filed by the law firm representing the women, McCathern, Shokouhi, Evans.

Smith is being held at Green Bay Jail in Tarrant County. In addition to charges related to invasive recordings, he is charged with assault of a family or household member.

“The safety and well-being of guests visiting Highland Park Village is our utmost priority. Highland Park Village does not have any contractual or other relationship with the security office or security company alleged to be involved,” Highland Park Village’s chief marketing officer, Victoria Snee, said. “The allegations made by the lawyers did not occur in Highland Park Village public restrooms but in those of the tenants’ own space and were under the exclusive control of those tenants at the time of the alleged incident. When the security team at Highland Park Village received notification of the alleged incident, they responded promptly by immediately notifying the Highland Park Police Department who took over the investigation.”

A manager at Vacheron Constantin had no comment about the lawsuit. General counsel for St. Moritz Security Services said the corporation was aware of the lawsuit and was investigating it, but could not comment due to the pending litigation.

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