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Restroom Spying: Personal moments made public

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Updated: 2/28/2013 8:54 am
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The place where you expect ultimate privacy may not be as private as you think. Action News found a website that suggests people are spying on you in public restrooms. It's a crime, so we took what we found straight to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

Action News found a toilet paper dispenser that, in an instant, becomes a window to spy. Our undercover cameras captured a hole inside a bathroom at the Avenues Mall. These restrooms are next to the Gymboree play area.

Thousands of others may know about another spy stall at the Jacksonville International Airport. That bathroom is lined with marble walls that show the reflection of the stall next door through a gap between the wall and the partition. If someone was looking, it would give them a very public view of you in a very private moment.

These bathrooms are being bragged about on a website so vulgar we can't even tell you its name or show you many of the images on it.

We took those concerns to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office.

"Is the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office aware of this possibly going on here," asked Action News anchor Lynnsey Gardner.

"Oh, absolutely. Absolutely," confirmed Shannon Hartley, a public information officer with JSO.

Our investigation discovered more than a dozen restrooms listed on the Internet where this type of behavior happens.

They're all in prominent public places.

We called the businesses in our story to alert them to the problem.

We called the Avenues Mall. We said we wanted to bring them the evidence we found, and after 11 conversations with their PR firm and Simon Property Group, they declined an interview, had no comment and did not see what we found.

The information on the stall with the spy hole at the Avenues Mall is active on the web; to date it has 28,500 page views.

More than 17,000 people may have seen another online writeup about a stall at JIA. There's a photo with a big red arrow on the site directing you to the exact stall we found. It's in the courtyard near the security checkpoint. The writeup even reads, "under stall action and voyeur opportunities make this a great spot."

We brought the spot to the attention of Michael Stewart, the airport's director of external affairs.

"Well, we want to thank you for bringing us this information and we're going to look into it and take care of this in a timely fashion," said Stewart.

"Has anything like this ever come up before here at JIA?" Gardner asked.
"Not to my knowledge," responded Stewart.

Stewart made it clear the airport would take action. Twenty-four hours later, it was fixed.

The airport is not the only one taking action.

Action News asked JSO's Hartley if JSO would ever conduct stings to stop this kind of behavior.

"Like I said, the investigators take a proactive approach to any type of criminal activity," said Hartley.

Action News doesn't want to give away police tactics to catch perverts, but we do think you need to know. We found dozens of user comments attached to pages that say they've been seen by thousands of eyes looking to spy.

The 11 Other Locations

According to the website, there are eleven other spots around town, including other public bathrooms inside popular business where people are looking to spy. We checked them out but we didn't find any obvious signs of spying.

Here is a list of all 13 locations listed on the website, what's written about them, and the number of page views:

CLUB JACKSONVILLE, bathhouses, saunas
Description: This place is what you make of it. There is a nice outdoor patio upstairs where you may hang out nude and catch some sun. The sauna heats up on occasion and can be very fun.
264,207 page views

BP STATION - 5077 JTB
Between Hardees and Waffle House. The bathroom is unisex and it is located on the right rear corner of the building. A toilet with no divider and a urinal with a small wall. The door has a sliding bolt action style lock so there is complete privacy.
52,197 page views

UNIVERSITY OF NORTH FLORIDA MAIN LIBRARY, 4TH FLOOR BATHROOM, Men's bathroom
42,862 page views

TILLIE K FOWLER PARK
Description: Nice park with lots of trees and privacy. Side trails go deep in woods; find a spot where you can get naked. Navy men, college guys from FCCJ, married business men.
42,121 page views

CECIL FIELD
Description: Don't parks right outside the restrooms and sit there for hours. The entrance to the men's room is in clear view of the window of the maintenance shed. You never know who might be inside watching.
37,659 page views

EARL B JOHNSON PARK 
Description: Back by the boat ramp
36,741 page views

AVENUES MALL
Description: Bathroom is located inside the south facing entrance that lies between the JC Penney and Dillards store entrances. The bathroom is located between the Gymboree and Asian Nail Salon.
28,969 page views

KATHRYN ABBEY HANNA PARK
27,176 page views

MANDARIN PARK
Description: The park restroom has one stall, and gets very busy at lunch time. The after work crowd seems to prefer the trails. There is an informational exhibit in the area surrounding the bathrooms. The benches around the exhibit and the trails are where most of the men are.
25,340 Page views

REGENCY MALL 
Men's bathroom in Dillards department store and also the Home Depot nearby
24,581 page views

KMART - 9600 San Jose Blvd
Tap your foot.
Just sit in urinal till someone does something like looking over stall.
23,318 page views

GUANA RIVER STATE PARK
22,431 page views

JACKSONVILLE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Description: Located to the left as you enter the atrium. across from Piano and Shoe Shine guy. Go to the last 2 stalls that are beyond the wall. It is dark and private back there. The marble walls allow for reflection of your next door stall mate. Under stall action and voyeur opportunities make this a great spot. Be careful as you have no warning if someone is coming.
17,537 page views

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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

evidencereason - 3/8/2013 2:40 PM
1 Vote
Some of this is concerning, no doubt. It's a good thing that washroom wall was fixed. The toilet roll you would seem to have to deliberately move a certain way to get a spying window. There is one very important thing we need to keep in mind here, however. There is no evidence of non-consentual spying. It looks quite planned and consenting by the website. "Foot-tapping", is mentioned as a signal between two people. Nativejax, you are off-topic. The only one "shoving it down the throat", is you, taking any opportunity to promote and anti-gay agenda and your religion to anyone who will listen. Being gay isn't an illness. You can't encourage anyone to be gay. Gayf people can't be encouraged to be straight. You are who you are, gay or straight. Do you know that bigotry comes from insecurity? We've been forced to teach acceptance in schools because so many gay youth have been bullied literally to death. The more severe forms of hate all stem from the irrational notion that being gay is somehow wrong or sick. Some of those(maybe most) looking to meet up in a washroom have been pushed into a closet of shame. This limits their opportunities. Out and proud gay men are not going to meet in this fashion. It really harkens back to an earlier time in history. Again, while concerning, it's important to remind people, that there is no evidence of non-consenting activity, in fact quite the opposite.

ACCad - 3/4/2013 9:20 AM
0 Votes
Interesting info.

cqsijx - 2/28/2013 4:40 PM
0 Votes
How did this become a topic for, or against the promotion of gay marriage? I'm sorry, but nativejax took it too far in spewing hatred on an irrelevant post. Calm down, and re-evaluate the way you think about things. Stop using God as a scapegoat for your ignorance, for there are many things God said, among them condeming homosexuality, but also things such as tattoos, eating shellfish, and shaving. Is it your reccomendation, nativejax, that we KEEP THAT IN THE CLOSET? Please, leave your bigotry in the 1900's where it was (sadly) accepted and move on with your life. Allow everyone the right to legal partnership, for it is LOVE. And above anything else, that is what the good lord preached. As far as this article goes, it is sickening and repulsive, to say the least. Bathrooms which are used by people of all ages should not be used as an effort to'look in on' and spy on people. Those that knowingly place these cameras and submit footage online need to be found and put on trial! I got the feeling from the article that no one is taking this seriously, and that bothers me. I want to be assured I am not being watched and paraded on the internet for doing something so simple and private as using a public bathroom!

nativejax - 2/28/2013 2:55 PM
0 Votes
Typical liberal media fed response. CONTRARY to 'blind sided', left wing liberals, not all the religious right wing folks ACCUSE gay men of molesting children. They just state the facts that all forms of homosexuallity as being morally and spiritually wrong, and to condone it brings us ALL down in the eyes of our creator. What a stupid comment, chopper55, why appease the 'radical homosexual agenda' that is trying to force our government to PUT THEIR priorities above the general consensus and needs of the good, hardworking, God fearing and loving people who built this country ON GODS WORDS. The 'right wing' religious people don't care if your homosexual or not, they only care that if you want to be spiritually sick, and not seek guidance or help, then KEEP IT IN THE CLOSET where it belongs between YOU AND YOUR GODS...and quit trying to force our Government to KEEP it in public eyes, laws,and schools for all of us to be 'forced to tolerate' and condone. Sick is sick, granted child molesting is sick, but EVERYONE knows its usually perpetrated by STRAIGHT family members and friends.

chopper55 - 2/28/2013 10:02 AM
0 Votes
I say keep the cameras etc.....At least when the HRO is passed the right wing religious folks will see that the gay men are NOT molesting their children in the bathrooms.

nativejax - 2/27/2013 10:46 PM
1 Vote
And these are just the ones they know about...How many more? These pervs can be tracked STRAIGHT to the ones responsible and arrests can be made...but they won't do it... No body cares enough to face them in a court of law or hold establishments responsible for not CHECKING for these cameras on a regular basis.
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