Man Sentenced to Prison After Secretly Filming Airbnb Guest in Shower, Threatening Her With Footage The incident took place in 2020 in a Ceres, California home the guest shared with the owner's son.
The son of an Airbnb host was sentenced to three years in prison for filming a guest getting out of the shower with a hidden camera.
Kevin James Strutz, 52, was sentenced on November 27 for cyberstalking after he filmed an Airbnb guest staying at his mother's Ceres, California home in 2020, which he also shared. He then proceeded to use the footage to blackmail her into sending him lewd videos.
According to court documents, the anonymous victim, who is listed as a traveling occupational therapist, saw a text message on Strutz's phone that he had left in the bathroom, calling her "accidentally sexy" and suggesting that he was interested in her in an unprofessional and nonconsensual manner.
Upon seeing the message, the woman was relocated by Airbnb but quickly began receiving threatening messages from Strutz on multiple social media accounts. According to court documents, he claimed he would release the nude footage of her to her contacts if she did not comply and send him X-rated videos of herself.
"The messages became increasingly aggressive, and one included an image of the victim exiting a shower that had been taken without her knowledge or consent at the Airbnb residence," the Department of Justice said in a statement. "Strutz sent the image to her with a demand that she send him a sexually explicit video or he would send the photo to her friends and family."
Strutz was arrested in 2020 and admitted to the FBI that he had recorded the illegal footage by using a cell phone camera he had hidden in a basket in the bathroom.
Airbnb banned the hosts from the platform and condemned Strutz to the local outlet, CBS Bay Area.
"We have no tolerance for the reported behavior and worked quickly to support the survivor once she brought it to our attention, including banning the associated host accounts from our platform at the time," the company said in a statement. "We assisted the FBI in their investigation and hope justice is appropriately served."
Airbnb did not immediately respond to Entrepreneur's request for comment.