A Long Island doctor hid a camera in the bathroom of his office to spy on employees and patients in a shocking case that's "an incredible invasion of privacy that should frighten people," according to the Nassau County District Attorney.
Vincent Pacienza, a Manhasset cardiologist, has been indicted for secretly viewing patients and employees without their knowledge for more than a year, Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice said today.
Pacienza has "vehemently" denied the charges.
Pacienza, 54, apparently had the secret camera installed in air purifiers in the office restroom that is shared by both employees and patients, the indictment said. The DA says the hidden camera was facing the toilet and provided a live feed to the doctor's office.
The air purifiers contained a hidden camera with a direct video feed to a monitor under the doctor's desk.
“This defendant not only abused the trust of his employees and his patients, but his entire profession,” Rice said. “My office will aggressively pursue and prosecute anyone who uses their professional position to exploit others.”
The camera was discovered when an employee uncovered an invoice for the hidden camera/air purifier device purchased for a Web site that specializes in surveillance equipment.
The doctor's lawyer Dennis Lemke says his client denies the allegations and says prosecutors have found nothing new since the doctor's original arrest in 2008. Lemke says no one ever viewed or recorded or downloaded any images. He says the camera was set up as part of an office security system after some thefts in the office.
The doctor faces four years in jail but is free on $2,500 bail.