FULTON, NY – The man arrested in September in connection with allegations that he videotaped unsuspecting young women in various stages of undress made a brief appearance in Fulton City Court Wednesday.
Michael A. Engel, 40, of Hill Top Drive, Fulton, was arrested Sept. 23 and charged with five counts of second-degree unlawful surveillance, class-E felonies; as well as misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child and forcible touching.
Engel appeared in court with his attorney, Timothy Fennell of Amdursky, Pelky, Fennell & Wallen, P.C. The case is being prosecuted by ADA Gregory Oakes.
Engel is accused of placing a surveillance camera in an exhaust fan in his bathroom to secretly record young women. Videos retrieved by police show the victims — primarily teenagers — brushing their teeth, doing their hair, preparing to shower and using the toilet.
Engel was also accused of forcibly touching a teenaged victim and making her pose for nude photographs, as well as take nude photographs of him. His arrest marked the first time that an Oswego County resident has been charged under StephanieÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Law.
Lieutenant Jeffrey Kinney of the Fulton police department said that his office received information that was used to apply for a search warrant of EngelÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s home. During the execution of the warrant, police discovered the surveillance equipment.
Engel was also charged with a misdemeanor count of fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon and a violation charge of unlawful possession of fireworks for items found at his home.
Police say the investigation continues with the assistance of the Oswego County SheriffÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Additional charges are anticipated.
Fulton City Court Judge Spencer Ludington adjourned EngelÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s case to December.