Fencing instructor Daniel Berliner of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was arrested on March 21 for allegedly recording a girl using a bathroom at his place of business without her knowledge or consent.
Berliner, 27, is being charged with video voyeurism and destroying/tampering with evidence. He is being held on $26,000 bond. If he posts bail, he cannot have contact with minors or possess recording devices.
According to the arrest report, the alleged recording was taken at Berliner’s gym, Duellife Olympic Fencing Center, on March 14. The video was reportedly found by his ex-girlfriend, who lives with him in Oakland Park. Investigators said the couple split up in January but still lived together.
The ex-girlfriend saw the video on Berliner’s iPhone after she scrolled through his gallery and found a file named “hidden,” WLPG Local 10 reported. The video reportedly shows a girl using a toilet and changing her clothes at Berliner’s gym. After the girl leaves the bathroom, Berliner can allegedly be seen entering, taking the camera out of the ceiling, and then placing it in a corner over the toilet.
Berliner’s ex-girlfriend confronted him about the video during a phone call, police said. She told authorities that he at first said he didn’t know anything about the video, but then started crying and told her that it was the first and only time he had recorded the victim.
She told investigators that Berliner told her that he masturbated to the video, but he later said he only said that because he believed it was what she wanted to hear. Berliner returned to their apartment and begged her not to tell the police, the arrest report said.
She told him that she had to protect the children. Berliner often traveled with athletes who are minors to attend competitions. He sometimes traveled alone with students when their parents cannot make the trip.
Police have contacted the girl in the video, who said she didn’t know Berliner was secretly recording her. It is unclear if there are other victims.
When Berliner was taken into custody, police reportedly found a smashed iPhone in his pocket. The SD card slot appeared to be tampered with and the memory card was missing.
“I think there are extenuating circumstances with respect to why the phone was in the bathroom and it had to do with the reporter—the individual who was his ex-girlfriend,” Berliner’s attorney, David Borgenschutz, told Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica. Borgenshutz argued that Berliner was not a threat to minors.
Following his arrest, Berliner’s membership in USA Fencing has been revoked by its governing body, the U.S. Center for Safeport. The center said Berliner cannot take part in any competition or activity run by USA Fencing and the U.S. Olympic Committee until the case is resolved.
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