DESTIN, Fla. – A man who secretly videotaped his house guests' activities in the bathroom has been ordered to pay the Texas couple $3.25 million in damages.
Okaloosa County jurors issued the verdict against Kevin Michael Moncla on Monday. The couple and their two young children were videotaped from September to November 2002 while they were guests in Moncla's Destin home.
"It was very important to my client that she do everything she could to put the public on notice what this man was capable of," said Virginia Buchanan, an attorney for the couple.
In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs, identified as John Doe and Jane Doe, said they had suffered "severe emotional trauma," because of Moncla's actions.
Moncla taped both the family and his then-wife through ceiling vents as they used bathrooms in the residence, court records said.
Moncla pleaded guilty in 2004 to a misdemeanor voyeurism charge and paid a criminal fine. A second offense could result in a felony charge.
Florida's Department of Children & Families investigated Moncla's actions to see if crimes against the family's children had been committed during the taping. No evidence was found, according to court records.
Moncla was caught when his former wife found a videocassette recorder with tapes inside under a bed, Buchanan said.
Okaloosa County sheriff's deputies discovered special wiring in both the wife's bathroom and an adjoining bathhouse used by the visiting family, Buchanan said.
The setup was "more sophisticated than throwing a camera up somewhere and leaving it out," Sheriffs Office investigator Grady Carpenter testified in a deposition.