Mental evaluation for ex-Burying Hill lifeguard in hidden-camera voyeur case
A former Westport lifeguard accused of collecting more than 250 surreptitiously recorded videos of female colleagues at Burying Hill Beach is undergoing a mental health evaluation, his lawyer said Friday at state Superior Court in Stamford.
Michael Collins, 29, of Westport, is charged with 431 counts of voyeurism, 431 counts of eavesdropping and a single count of third-degree possession of child pornography.
Collins pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His lawyer, Andrew Bowman asked Judge Richard Comerford, for more time to get the results of Collins’ mental health evaluation before his next court appearance. Comerford granted a six-week continuance and set a March 4 court date.
“I’m anxious to see the results,” Stamford State’s Attorney Richard Colangelo said.
Collins, who wore a sport jacket and slacks, did not speak during the roughly one-minute hearing. He and Bowman both declined comment after the proceedings.
Police said Collins secretly photographed female lifeguards using tiny cameras hidden in clocks as they undressed for work at Burying Hill Beach. He then pasted the photos of their faces and naked bodies on a collage in his bedroom.
At the time, Collins was the head lifeguard at the town beach, next to Greens Farms Academy and Sherwood Island State Park.
Collins also took numerous photos of women and children on the town beach, focusing on the buttocks and breasts of the women, according to police. There was one video of a female lifeguard doing lunges in her two-piece bathing suit and drying off with a towel. There were others of female and male lifeguards changing into their bathing suits and watching television on a couch in their shack. The cameras focused on the females’ genital areas, police said.
Collins was also captured on his own videos repositioning the clocks so the cameras would get a better view of a female colleague, investigators said.
Collins’ bedroom in his home was described by police as a “dumping ground” full of empty Coors Light beer cans stacked from the floor halfway up the wall. There were also several gallon-sized canola oil containers filled with urine.
There were photos of female colleagues next to other photos of women tied in chains and blowup shots of Collins’ genitals, police said. In the collages, he referred to himself as “Professor Collins” and there were written “pleas” jotted down near his victims, police said. One such phrase included a reference to beheading.
Police said they also found 11 images on Collins’ computer of girls from 8 to 10 years old engaged in sex acts with men.
Each of the multiple charges against Collins carries a maximum prison term of five years.