PORT HADLOCK — The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office is recommending that a former juvenile employee of Ferino’s Pizzeria be charged with four counts of voyeurism after photographs of women employees in the restroom were posted on the Port Hadlock business’ Facebook page.
The juvenile, who was not in custody Thursday, is not named because of the person’s age, according to Detective Brett Anglin of the Sheriff’s Office, who declined to provide the age or gender of the person, who no longer works at the restaurant.
The charging recommendation has been forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office for a decision, according to Anglin.
Possible jail time
Voyeurism is a Class C felony, and a conviction could end in jail time, probation and the requirement to register as a sex offender.
According to Ferino’s owner, Adam Burns, the photos were taken in the employees’ restroom, and as far as he knows, none were taken in the customer restrooms.
As a precaution, Burns has changed the locks and added a new combination lock to the employee restroom that only current employees can unlock.
Employees are also required to keep their phones in a specific drawer and not use them while they are working.
“It’s unfortunate for everyone, but I can’t take any chances,” Burns said. “My daughter works here, and the whole situation is just horrific.”
After opening at 3 p.m. Sept. 11, Burns said he received a call about “disgusting” content on the business’ Facebook page. Burns said he assumed it was a prank call and hung up on the caller but checked the page anyway.
The posted photos showed women employees in the employee bathroom in various states of undress. Burns said he saw the first one and immediately took it down.
“I didn’t need to see anymore,” Burns said. “It was very uncomfortable for me.”
At about 3:15 p.m., Burns closed the restaurant and sheriff’s deputies searched for hidden cameras but found nothing, Burns said.
Burns has since shut down the Ferino’s Facebook page as well as his personal page.
“I’m never activating Facebook again professionally or privately,” Burns said. “It’s just not worth it.”
Burns has worked at Ferino’s since 1995. He bought the business in 2014.
“I’ve been living in a fairy-tale world for too long,” Burns said. “I never thought something like this would happen to me or happen here.
“Never has anything like this happened here or in our community.”
Burns said the community hasn’t held the incident against the business and has continued to be supportive. The restaurant was as busy as usual during Thursday’s lunch rush, he said.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 5550, or at [email protected].