After years of investigation and proceedings, multiple voyeurism and related charges have been laid against former Saanich Red Barn manager Matthew Schwabe.
Allegations against Schwabe first surfaced in 2016 from employees and customers at Red Barn Market at Mattick’s Farm from 9 women and girls as young as 15-years-old.
As of September 3rd, Schwabe has been charged with 30 offences including Voyeurism, Publication of Intimate Images without Consent, Indecent Act, Child Pornography and Theft Under $5000.
The original Saanich Police case against Schwabe started on January 30th, 2016, after a victim came forward with allegations of him filming female coworkers in the staff bathroom.
Later, a lawsuit filed against him by two of the victims stated that he took photos and videos of women in the bathroom at the business and uploaded them to a Russian “revenge porn website”.
“It has been a long, complicated and detailed investigation that has and continues to impact many people. The strength and patience of the 9 young women is commendable and we are very pleased to be at this point of charge approval,” said Sgt. Julie Fast.
Prior arrests and bankruptcy claims
Back in the summer of 2016, Saanich Police arrested Schwabe for voyeurism and publication of intimate images without consent. A search of his his home also resulted in the seizure of electronics from his residence.
While the grocery store manager was arrested, he was not charged, and at the time he was released on a no-contact undertaking (similar to a restraining order).
In April 2018, three months after the women laid their civil claim, Schwabe filed for bankruptcy, resulting in a stay of proceedings for the case.
His bankruptcy paperwork listed five liabilities, $0 debts to each of the plaintiffs and their law firm, and two bank debts that totalled at $4,484.4 with a monthly deficit of $50.72.
Since then, the Supreme Court has reviewed the claims and Judge B.D. MacKenzie ruled that the “very minor” debt that Schwabe has found himself in does not constitute an “honest unfortunate”.