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Westmoreland tanning salon voyeur will go to prison

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Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

An Iraq War veteran who hid in a drop ceiling over a Westmoreland tanning salon to videotape more than 50 women and teen girls disrobing will serve 7 to 20 years in prison.

Jesse Charles Macklin, 29, of Jeannette last fall pleaded 218 counts that include burglary, distribution and possession of child pornography, sexual abuse of children, selling sexual materials, trespassing and invasion of privacy.

Throughout 2006, Macklin spent days peeping through a hole in a drop ceiling above the Sunkissed Tanning and Spa in Countryside Plaza, East Huntingdon Township, where he videotaped 54 women, including 27 juveniles, police said.

He then posted the tapes on "voyeuristic" websites, police said.

Macklin, who has been held in the county prison since his arrest in February, was sentenced by Judge Debra Pezze after she heard testimony from five victims.

Dozens of victims have sued the salon and those civil cases are pending.

Police first learned about the case in October 2007 when a 17-year-old Mt. Pleasant Area High School student reported that a video of her undressing in the salon was being circulated at school after it was lifted from the Internet.

In early 2010, another teen came forward with a similar story and police later searched the area above the salon.

Investigators found water bottles filled with urine and tobacco juice, along with videotape and cough-drop wrappers. During a second search, police discovered food wrappers and a receipt from which they were able to secure fingerprints.

Those prints were matched to Macklin, who eventually confessed that in early 2006 he cased the salon as a potential target for videotaping women.

According to court records, Macklin told police that on about six occasions he spent more than 10 hours camped out above the salon with his video camera and later posted still pictures and video on the Internet.

Defense attorney Michael DeMatt said Macklin is a different man.

"This was something that happened five years ago, and since then a lot has occurred. Just before this happened, he went to Iraq with the Marines. He had issues after he got back, but now he's managed to get his life back on track," DeMatt said last fall.

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