Manassas Journal Messenger | Tanning salon owner charged with peeping

Two customers went into Aloha Tanning and Spa on Friday wanting to improve their looks for the bathing suit season. Little did they know someone would be looking at them.

Manassas City police arrested the salon’s owner, Jerry Donnell Smith, Tuesday for allegedly spying on at least two women at the salon when they were naked, said Sgt. Tim Neumann, police spokesman.

Smith watched one woman in a tanning booth Friday afternoon from behind a shade and recorded another woman using a small video camera, according to an affidavit for a search warrant filed in Prince William County Circuit Court.

Smith, a Triangle resident, was charged with one count of being a “peeping Tom” and one count of videotaping a non-consenting person, both class 1 misdemeanors, which carry a maximum sentence of one year in jail.

The arrest was news to customers at the business Tuesday afternoon.

“This is shocking,” said a Manassas-area woman who asked not to be identified. “I come here three or four times a week and it’s scary to think someone could have been watching.”

“This definitely changes things,” she said.

At the tanning salon, which is located in a strip mall on Mathis Avenue between Liberia Avenue and Sudley Road, customers usually tan nude or wear a small amount of clothing to expose most of their body.

The woman interviewed said she never felt uncomfortable or that her privacy was being violated at the business, saying, “things were always very professional.”

That was not the case Friday, according to the two women mentioned in the affidavit.

The first victim, an 18-year-old Nokesville resident, said she saw a black man 40 to 45 years old looking at her through a window when she was getting a tan around 11:30 a.m.

The second victim, a 24-year-old city resident, said Smith directed her to a tanning bed when she went to the business around 2:30 p.m.

After disrobing, she saw a reflection in a mirror of what looked like to be a cell phone with a camera attachment.

Police searched Smith’s car and a home at 3100 Hemlock Point Court in Triangle, believed to be Smith’s home, Friday night, as well as Aloha Tanning and Spa.

A Sony video camera recorder was taken from the Hemlock Point Court address and several computer disks, among other things.

There was also a VHS tape recovered from Smith’s sport utility vehicle.

A manager reached at the business Tuesday afternoon declined to comment, saying she did not know of Smith’s arrest or any peeping incidents at the business.

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