In February, a 17-year-old girl detected that something wasn’t quite right during an appointment at a Pennsylvania dermatology office.
While receiving radiation treatment, she happened to notice the nurse’s phone lying on the floor at her feet.
According to Philly.com, she told police that she could see her naked reflection in the iPhone — which had been recording her for 25 seconds by the time she saw it.
That nurse who owned the phone was 45-year-old James Close, and he was arrested shortly thereafter.
But the nightmare wasn’t over.Bucks County District Attorney’s Office
According to CBS Philadelphia, after launching an in-depth investigation into Close, police discovered a total of 18 videos on his phone of that 17-year-old girl as well as seven other females ranging from the ages of 20 to 70. All 18 of those recordings are reported to have been filmed between January and February.
“We found 18 videos, four of those were of a minor that found the phone,” prosecutor Megan Stricker told CBS Philadelphia.
Attorney Robert J. Mongeluzzi, who is representing three of the eight victims, told People:
“The bond between a patient and a medical professional is one of sacred trust, and he shattered that with these women. And so I felt no pity for him that he was caught and is now facing punishment for the destruction of their trust.”
On Friday, Close admitted to videotaping multiple undressed women and teen girls without their consent while they were receiving medical treatment.
Mongeluzzi told People that Close was able to get away with recording the victims because he did so once they were inside a light-therapy booth, which meant the women were wearing protective, visually impairing gear over their face and/or eyes.
“So he was able to either put [his phone] underneath or hold it on top and be able to videotape them,” Mongeluzzi said.
On Friday, Close pleaded guilty to 48 counts of criminal offenses, including four counts of sexual abuse of children, four counts of endangering the welfare of a child, 36 counts of invasion of privacy, and numerous other charges, according to CBS Philadelphia.
His attorney, Ellis Klein, told People that Close “admitted his involvement in it and he’s been remorseful since day one.”
Klein also said that Close will need to register as a sex offender for a minimum of 15 years. Depending on whether he is determined to be a sexually violent predator, he may have to register as a sex offender for life.
As for his potential punishment, Klein told People his sentence could be “lengthy” but that whenever Close completes his sentence, he will get help:
“He’s incredibly ashamed of what he did. He’s speaking with an expert in sexual dysfunction and he plans on getting treatment when he gets out.”
A spokesperson for the dermatology office where Close filmed the women told People they were “appalled at the actions of this former employee and cooperated fully with law enforcement during investigation of this very disturbing matter.”
However, as People noted, it’s unclear when exactly Close was terminated from the office.
And as for the 17-year-old girl largely responsible for ending Close’s perverted activities, Mongeluzzi told People that she’s “an alert and courageous young woman.”