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A Baltimore security guard was convicted of watching youth in a changing area. Now the city faces fallout.

Baltimore faces legal claims after a city convention center security guard was convicted of secretly watching participants in a youth dance competition in a changing area last year.

The case was not made public at the time, but the city is now dealing with fallout from the incident — including an insurance hike for the convention center and the threat of lawsuits.

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Kevin Carrington, 54, of Essex, was charged with four voyeurism-related charges in August 2018, according to charging documents. Baltimore police said Carrington, who no longer works for the city, used security cameras to “spy” on youth dancers in a changing area at the Baltimore Convention Center during the Starpower Regional Talent Competition in April 2018.

Carrington pleaded guilty to three counts of visual surveillance with prurient intent, court records show. He received a suspended sentence and three years of supervised probation earlier this year.

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The charge is a misdemeanor that carries up to a year of imprisonment.

The case did not go to trial. Zy Richardson, spokeswoman with the state’s attorney’s office, said the victims’ families did not want the minors to be publicly identified in court proceedings.

A lawyer representing participants in the competition formally notified the city this spring of a possible lawsuit, according to records recently obtained by The Baltimore Sun through the Maryland Public Information Act.

In the letter dated April 12, attorney Philip C. Federico told City Solicitor Andre Davis that legal claims could be filed “on behalf of potentially hundreds” of participants in the event.

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Federico wrote that participants were “surreptitiously surveilled and videotaped” in various stages of undress in the changing area.

Federico declined to comment in detail on the case.

“We consider this a private matter between our clients, the city and the people that put on the event,” Federico said. “Almost all of our clients are minors. It is our goal to try to resolve the matter confidentially, with anonymity.”

No one has filed a lawsuit against the city in connection with the case, Davis said. It’s not clear how many dancers are considering a lawsuit.

According to charging documents, Robert Parker, the convention center’s director of public safety, reported Carrington to police days after the 2018 dance competition. Parker said he was reviewing footage of the dance competition and saw Carrington moving security cameras to view a “designated secure changing area."

Police wrote in charging documents that they determined that Carrington manipulated the camera nearly four dozen times to view the dressing area, often zooming in on nude or partially dressed girls. Carrington also was seen taking cellphone photos of the surveillance monitor a half-dozen times, according to the charges.

Police said in the documents they were able to identify four female victims between the ages of 13 and 18 with the help of Starpower. Investigators interviewed Carrington, who police say admitted to using the cameras to view the dressing room.

Carrington had worked for the city since 2002, according to city records.

Charles Waechter, Carrington’s attorney, didn’t respond to several attempts to reach him to discuss the case. Efforts to reach Carrington were unsuccessful.

Starpower runs dozens of dance competitions a year, according to its website.

Mark A. Barondess, an attorney for Starpower, said the company “cooperated fully with law enforcement officials to assist in the vigorous prosecution of this individual, who was completely unknown to us.”

“We were absolutely shocked that this conduct had taken place,” Barondess said.

Officials with the Baltimore Convention Center referred questions to the city solicitor’s office.

Davis, the city solicitor, said the city has made changes to prevent illegal surveillance in the future.

“Additional security steps have been taken to ensure that only certain people have access to the cameras and that the particular cameras are actually deactivated during brief periods of time when an event is taking place, without jeopardizing public safety," Davis said.

Starpower hosted another competition at the convention center this March, with another one set for 2020, according to schedules posted on its website.

Barondess said that from Starpower’s perspective, the incident resulted from the actions of one person who “is no longer part of the convention center or any of the Starpower activities,” referring to Carrington.

But the case resulted in a 25% increase in the city’s liability insurance costs for the convention center and Royal Farms Arena. The city Board of Estimates approved a roughly $104,000 renewal of the insurance policy in July.

“The renewal is being provided by the incumbent carrier, Philadelphia Insurance Company at a 25% rate increase, due to an ongoing voyeurism claim at the convention center,” stated a board agenda from last month.

Federico’s firm, Schochor, Federico and Staton in Baltimore, handled the class-action lawsuit against Johns Hopkins Hospital after Dr. Nikita Levy was accused of secretly photographing and filming women during pelvic exams. The case resulted in a $190 million settlement between Hopkins and thousands of Levy’s former patients.

The Levy case was one of a string of high-profile Baltimore-area voyeurism cases in recent years. In other cases, patrons of the Rams Head Tavern and White Marsh Mall were secretly videotaped in bathrooms. In another, rabbi and former Towson University professor Barry Freundel secretly recorded women as they prepared for a Jewish ritual bath at the National Capital Mikvah in Washington.

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