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Man accused of spying on women at Stafford gym denied bond
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Man accused of spying on women at Stafford gym denied bond

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Brian Anthony Joe

Brian Anthony Joe

A man who fell from the ceiling into a women’s locker room in Stafford County late last month was denied bond Wednesday after a judge heard evidence about the spying system he is accused of setting up to look at the women.

Brian Anthony Joe, 41, of Woodbridge, was arrested Jan. 30 following his fall at Onelife Fitness at 315 Garrisonville Road. He recently received a $50,000 bond from a judge in Stafford General District Court.

But Commonwealth’s Attorney Eric Olsen appealed the lower court ruling to circuit court, and Judge Bruce Strickland denied the bond request after hearing evidence that included a makeshift spying system and new child pornography charges against Joe in Prince William County.

According to the prosecution evidence, several women were naked or partially naked that afternoon when Joe dropped about 10 feet onto “one or more of them.” At least one woman suffered minor injuries.

Olsen said that Detective K.A. Lawrence’s investigation indicated that Joe had entered a small bathroom and locked the door behind him. He then used a rope ladder to get into the ceiling, where he had a harness system and a recording device set up.

The device failed and Joe fell into the locker room, traumatizing the women in there, Olsen said.

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A search warrant was later executed at Joe’s home in Woodbridge, and 700 images of child pornography were found on his electronic devices, authorities said. Prince William authorities have since charged him with 10 felony counts of possessing child pornography.

Olsen said police spoke with the woman Joe was living with and learned that he had memberships at other gyms, as well. A harness system just like the one found at the North Stafford gym was recently discovered at a facility in Arlington, where Joe was a member, Olsen said.

The investigation turned up video evidence in Joe’s home that connected him to “peeping Tom” activities, Olsen said. The prosecutor mentioned one video in which he said Joe apparently rigged a camera on his shoe that he used to look up women’s dresses.

“It’s just not worth it to risk having this man out in the community,” Olsen said. “We still don’t know the number of women he compromised or the number of children he’s exploited.”

Defense attorney John Mayoras argued that Joe is not a flight risk and has a limited criminal history. He said the judge could set any number of conditions that would ensure the public’s safety.

Strickland disagreed, saying any conditions would be all but impossible to enforce in a case like this.

Joe is charged in Stafford with burglary, vandalism and three counts of peeping or spying into a building. Olsen said Wednesday that more charges are pending.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 10 in Stafford General District Court.

Keith Epps: 540/374-5404

kepps@freelancestar.com

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