Wellman Shew has not been charged in this case. But according to court documents, Fresno Police believe Shew secretly videotaped a woman who is a very close friend and his own employee. Investigators found evidence that Shew hid the camera in very unique places.
"Shew and Company" is a small insurance office in Northeast Fresno owned by Wellman Shew. Police got a complaint from Shew's friend saying he saw disturbing images on the business owner's computer. According to this search warrant filed in court, the pictures and videos show a female employee using the restroom. Police searched the company office last week. The court document indicates they found a fake plant located on top of the toilet with a secret compartment and two boxes with holes on the side. Both likely recorded the victim.
Lieutenant David Newton is investigating the case. Newton says, "I would not necessarily characterize it as being sophisticated other than to say that the recording did it occur and based on our violation there was a violation of the law."
Newton would not provide more details in the case, but another investigator wrote in the warrant: "I also observed a live video of a white female going to the restroom and the hidden camera appeared to be near the toilet because it captured the female pulling her pants down and sitting on the toilet."
Action News went to find Shew- but he has not responded to our request for comment.
Legal Analyst Ralph Torres reviewed the case. At this point, Torres says Shew only faces a misdemeanor. But that could change if the business owner sent the video over the internet. Then Shew may face federal charges and could be sued by the victim. Torres says, "She has the right to privacy, any individual who invades her right to privacy, that is actionable. The victim can sue for money."
Again, charges have not been filed yet. Fresno Police expect to give this case to the DA's office sometime this week. We were unable to contact the victim. We are withholding her name because of the nature of this case.