Massachusetts Firefighter Charged With Secretly Recording Female Colleague

A Massachusetts firefighter has been charged with using a hidden camera to secretly record a female colleague in the firehouse. Nicholas Tillman is facing two charges, unlawful interception of a wire or oral communication (wiretap) and secret sexual surveillance.

Tillman and the victim are members of the Easthampton Fire Department. The camera was reportedly placed in the women’s locker room, where it was discovered last week. News coverage is reporting one of the charges Tillman is facing is a wiretap violation. To clarify, most states combine wiretap (listening or recording electronic communications) with eavesdropping (listening or recording in-person conversations), commonly referring to both as a wiretap violation. Here is a copy of Massachusetts General Laws Ch. 272, Section 99 entitled Interception of wire or oral communications.

The other charge appears to be related to Mass GL Ch. 272, Section 105, entitled Photographing, videotaping or electronically surveilling partially nude or nude person or the sexual or other intimate parts….

This is the 21st such case I have in my database. Each involve a male firefighter recording a female.

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.

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