Sentencing/Post Conviction

Lawyer who used hidden video cameras to peep on tenants will get psychotherapy rather than jail time

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A Maryland lawyer who pleaded guilty to three misdemeanors for spying on his tenants “with prurient intent” won’t have to go to jail for the crime.

Instead, Dennis Alan Van Dusen of Chevy Chase was sentenced on Tuesday to five years’ probation and fined $2,500, the Washington Post reports. The 64-year-old defendant was also ordered to continue psychotherapy.

Judge Paul Weinstein said psychiatric treatment is needed more than jail time, the story says. “We have a gentleman here who, I guess, I can only characterize as being disturbed or sick, and that’s been confirmed by many sources,” Weinstein said.

Van Dusen’s lawyer, Samuel Delgado, told Weinstein that Van Dusen’s mother had been a hoarder and his childhood home was so crowded that he was forced into the attic. His bar admission was approved last year despite conflicting recommendations. Van Dusen had several degrees, including ones in computer science and applied mathematics, and he had served in Vietnam.

Prosecutors had alleged Van Dusen used low rent to entice female tenants to sign leases, and used hidden cameras to record them while undressed or having sex with their boyfriends. One of the tenants discovered a camera in a smoke detector above her bed after reading an article in Cosmopolitan magazine about how new technology can be used to spy on people.

Prosecutors had sought a one-year sentence.

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