Prairie Grove man gets 18 years in hidden-camera case

Posted: March 10, 2014 at 12:59 p.m.

A Prairie Grove man has been sentenced to 18 1/2 years in prison without parole for using hidden cameras to take video of a 16-year-old girl as she undressed and showered, the U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas said Monday.

Christopher Howe, 42, will also serve 15 years of supervised release and pay a $20,000 fine for his attempted production of child pornography conviction, U.S. Attorney Conner Eldridge said in a statement. U.S. District Judge Jimm Larry Hendren oversaw the sentencing.

The investigation began after a parent contacted the Tontitown Police Department on March 26, 2013, after finding nude videos of her daughter on a cellphone, Eldridge said. Tontitown police received an iPhone owned by Howe that held hidden-camera recordings of the teen undressing and showering at her home, the U.S. attorney's office said.

The videos showed that Howe had hidden the iPhone in the bathroom and created recordings multiple times over an eight-month period, Eldridge said. Howe "would then retrieve the video afterwards and, in some cases, edit the video down to short clips of the minor fully nude or in compromising positions," according to the statement. Howe's relationship to the teen wasn't made clear.

"The defendant in this case has now been brought to justice for his despicable behavior," Eldridge said. "It is simply inexcusable for someone to victimize a minor in any circumstance, let alone by secretly recording them in this manner.”