A POLICEMAN is to pay a R3 000 fine for filming a sexual encounter in a toilet at the Elsies River Police Station.
After being found guilty of crimen injuria in the Western Cape High Court last week, Constable Jaede Fillies, 26, was yesterday sentenced to either a fine or six months behind bars.
He opted for the fine.
Judge Patricia Goliath sentenced him to an additional six months, suspended for three years.
Fillies’ conviction stems from an incident in a toilet stall at the Elsies River Police Station on June 15, 2010.
The woman involved – who was arrested along with her boyfriend in Viking Park, Epping that night – claimed that she was raped by policemen.
Four police employees were initially prosecuted but one, Theo van Wyk, was discharged mid-trial.
The other two, former Warrant Officer Theodore Syster and admin clerk Beverly Carelse, were acquitted on charges relating to the incident.
Syster and Fillies were acquitted of rape.
Fillies, however, was convicted for filming part of a sexual encounter between Syster and the woman, in her early 30s, on a cellphone without her knowledge or consent.
It was distributed to several other police officers.
In handing down her sentence, Judge Goliath said crimen injuria was a serious offence that needed to be seen against the background of the circumstances that night.
Fillies had been an on-duty officer dressed in full uniform who had recorded the incident for his own gain, and had not intervened when the incident took place.
He had also seriously violated the woman’s privacy.
She described his actions as “unethical” and “childish”.
Judge Goliath weighed this up against Fillies’ personal circumstances.
He was a first-time offender who has two children, he was a constable based at the Mossel Bay Dog Unit and he had already been punished at an internal police disciplinary procedure for conducting himself in what was described as a “disgraceful manner”.
He had lost two months’ salary and been given a nine-month suspension of which six months were suspended for two years.
Judge Goliath also looked at the interests of the community, saying that after the incident, the woman involved had lost trust in police officers.
There was a possibility that society might also lose trust in the police as a result of Fillies’ crime.
“Such indifferent behaviour by police members will not be tolerated,” she said.
Fillies’ legal representative, Adrian Montzinger, said that his client was able to immediately pay R1 000 of the R3 000 fine.
The judge ordered that he pay the balance off in instalments of R500 a month.