LIHUE — A former janitor at the Kauai Marriott Resort &Beach Club will spend the next year in jail for secretly recording cell phone videos of his female coworkers using an employee bathroom.
Alan Ganir, of Kapaa, was sentenced in Thursday to one year in jail and four years probation for first-degree violation of privacy, a count he pleaded no contest to earlier this year.
In exchange for Ganir’s no-contest plea, county prosecutors agreed to ask for only six months in jail, probation and restitution for the victims, but Fifth Circuit Court Chief Judge Randal Valenciano was not bound by the terms of the plea bargain and elected to double the recommended sentence.
Ganir, 40, was arrested in September 2018, after one of his coworkers found his iPhone actively recording video through a hole in a tissue box stashed behind a toilet in the women’s employee locker room.
The criminal case against Ganir is only half the story. The discovery of his iPhone prompted a class-action lawsuit. Attorneys representing six female Marriott employees filed a civil claim against Marriott International and Ganir shortly after his arrest last year.
Ganir was eventually fired from the hotel, but the female employees claim in their lawsuit that they later learned Ganir had been surreptitiously recording them for well over a year.
A Facebook post from May 2017 shows a tissue box with a small hole for a camera lens behind a toilet in the women’s locker room. Four out of five stalls in the locker room had been locked from the inside, forcing the women to use the one remaining stall, where the camera had been placed and the toilet seat had been removed.
The lawsuit states that despite employees’ written complaints, “the situation in the bathroom continued several nights per week, on a regular basis.”
Ganir’s iPhone was seized as evidence at the time of his arrest, but a Fifth Circuit judge recently ordered police to turn over the cell phone to the plaintiffs in the civil case, and an attorney representing the six women said experts are digging through the files for evidence they can use in the lawsuit.
Marriott’s legal representatives have repeatedly declined previous requests for comment on the case.
Caleb Loehrer, staff writer, can be reached at 245-0441 or firstname.lastname@example.org.