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Elgin man avoids jail over spycam in women's bathroom at work
By Charles Keeshan | Daily Herald Staff

Miguel Bribiescas


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Published: 1/20/2010 2:22 PM | Updated: 1/20/2010 2:22 PM

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An Elgin man who admitted placing a spy camera in the women's bathroom at his workplace was sentenced Wednesday to two years of nonreporting probation, and no jail time, by a judge who indicated his lack of criminal record spared him a worse punishment.

Miguel Bribiescas, 25, of the 1100 block of Hiawatha Drive, must also pay a $1,000 fine under the sentence handed down by McHenry County Judge Sharon Prather.

Bribiescas had faced a maximum three years in prison after pleading guilty in December to a felony charge of unauthorized video recording stemming from the July 31 discovery of the pen-size camera in a washroom at Ridgefield Industries, near Crystal Lake.

Authorities said Bribiescas recorded one female co-worker, but mostly what was recorded was himself looking into the lens while trying to figure out how to operate the camera. The camera was discovered by another co-worker and turned over to police.

Bribiescas apologized in court Wednesday and asked the judge for a chance to "move forward with my life."

"I don't have the words to express how sorry I am," he said.

His attorney, Mary Baccam, said Bribiescas also apologized personally to the woman he recorded and others at his workplace. He nonetheless lost his job over the incident, Baccam said.

County prosecutors had asked for probation with six months of jail time, arguing Bribiescas had violated the trust of his co-workers.