Man who took photos may be in jail, police won't confirm
There are indications the man who captured shots of women in the south end of Halifax is already behind bars on other unrelated charges, but police won't confirm that.
They will only say the person who took the photos will face voyeurism charges when caught.
"If they took it for a sexual reason, then it would fall under the category of voyeurism," says Const. Brian Palmeter. "If the picture is of somebody where they're exposing their genital region, or in the case of a female, their breasts, it would also be considered illegal."
In a highly unusual move, police released four photos of women to media outlets Thursday afternoon, saying the risk to public safety was so great it outweighed the women's rights to privacy.
Two of the women have come forward and been identified since the photos were released. Both of the women told police the photos were taken without their consent, but police have yet to lay charges.
"I'm not sure if the statements that were obtained by the other police agencies have made their way to our jurisdiction yet, but…what we'll have to do is consult with the Crown attorney to make sure the statements, the pictures and all the info we have constitutes laying criminal charges," says Palmeter.
Police confirm the photos were taken in the south end of Halifax and they were seized after police executed a search warrant at a residence.
Palmeter says the search warrant was a result of an investigation into break-ins and drugs and they seized the items that included the photos in their search at a residence, although he wouldn't elaborate on what the items were.
But a digital imaging instructor has been able to shed some light on how they were taken.
Leslie Behie is a photographer who teaches digital imaging and after analyzing the photos, he says they were likely taken with a cell phone at very close range to the women who were being photographed.
"One looks like it was shot through a screen so it had to be very close to that screen to shoot through it," says Behie. "So it looks like the camera had to be right there."
He also says the quality of the grainy photos is quite poor, which leads him to believe a camera phone was used to capture the shots.
"You get the digital noise, which is the little red, green, blue dots all through the pictures you're seeing,"
Police are still hoping to identify the other two women in the photos.
With files from CTV Atlantic's Kayla Hounsell