An East Hampton landlord who monitored his renters with hidden cameras was sentenced Thursday to 5 years of probation after pleading guilty to unlawful surveillance and endangering the welfare of a child, the Suffolk district attorney's office said.
Donald Torr, 71, had seven cameras placed in the bedrooms, bathroom and halls at his Winterberry Lane home, and they were connected to a system that allowed him to remotely view the footage, prosecutors said.
Torr was arrested June 2013 and pleaded guilty in July this year to 14 counts of second-degree unlawful surveillance and nine counts of endangering the welfare of a child. At sentencing before Suffolk County Court Judge Barbara Kahn, an order of protection was also issued against him for eight years, online court records show. Torr and his attorney could not be reached Thursday afternoon. In April 2013, he told Newsday there was a reason for the cameras but declined to give details.
Several families that rented from him have sued him, accusing him of invasion of privacy by having cameras pointed at beds, showers and other areas.
One of them submitted a victim impact statement at Torr's sentencing, saying Torr "tainted" their summer of 2012, the first time the family, including several children ages 1 to 12, had been able to vacation together.
"Donald Torr intentionally placed cameras strategically so that he would have access to his vacationers in their most private moments," the family wrote. "It is extremely upsetting that we still do not know who has viewed the footage or if there are photos or videos of our naked children or ourselves floating around the Internet. It is emotionally horrifying that we have inadvertently placed our children in this vulnerable position."
Prosecutors said they had asked Torr to be sentenced to 2 2/3 years to 8 years in prison. The victims wrote that his sentence is a "slap on the wrist."