A male employee working at gym franchise Club Fitness has been arrested after being accused of invading the privacy of at least 41 women by taking over 170 photos without their consent while they were partially or fully nude. Michael Koch, who worked with the company in Missouri between 2010 and 2017, may have had other victims as well.
Koch, in addition to allegedly keeping the photos on his cell phone between May 2016 and November 2017, also allegedly uploaded them to a Russian photo-sharing website, before he was tracked down with the help of the Department of Homeland Security.
The 26-year-old is not only accused of taking photos of women while they were tanning but reportedly also had photos of his girlfriend in the nude and performing sexual acts, as well as nude pictures of his sister. He lived at the same residence as his sibling.
His girlfriend and sister both told St. Lewis Post-Dispatch they were unaware that he had been taking photos of them and posting them online.
Koch has been charged with two counts of invasion of privacy and one count of attempted invasion of privacy, Tribune Media Wire reported.
“Club Fitness takes every measure to ensure the personal privacy and security of our employees and members,” Michelle Micheletti, director of marketing for Club Fitness, said in a statement about the case. “Should there be any suspicions or reports about inappropriate actions or privacy abuse, we will contact the authorities immediately.”