A Wantagh man arrested in March and charged with unlawful surveillance at local tanning salons was back in court on April 25 to face new charges stemming from the incidents.
Jake Gabler-Colotti, 22, originally faced two counts of unlawful surveillance for allegedly videotaping two female customers at the Beach Bum Tanning salon in Levittown. At the time of his arrest on March 12, detectives said they were trying to locate other victims.
NCPD Second Squad detectives determined that Gabler-Colotti had videotaped three to five customers in Beach Bum locations in Levittown, Plainview and Seaford.
Last week, however, Gabler-Colotti was arraigned before Nassau County Court Judge Robert McDonald in a superseding grand jury indictment charging him with an additional 18 counts of unlawful surveillance involving a total of nine victims. At the same time, District Attorney Madeline Singas requested an increase in bail to $50,000, a motion that was denied. Bail was continued at the original $10,000, with no special conditions, according to defense attorney Cornell Bouse.
Gabler-Colotti is due back in court on May 22.
“This defendant is charged with illegally filming nine women in various stages of undress while they were inside tanning booths, Singas said in a statement. “This kind of egregious invasion of privacy can cause victims great distress, and we will hold Mr. Gabler-Colotti accountable.”
If convicted on the top count, Gabler-Colotti faces 15 to 48 months in prison for each incident, according to Singas’s statement.
Singas added that Gabler-Colotti was a customer at the tanning salon at the time of his original arrest, when a female customer saw him videotaping her as she was disrobing in the tanning room adjacent to his.
A second victim contacted NCPD detectives after the first incident and said he had also videotaped her at the Levittown location. Other customers subsequently came forward, alleging that Gabler-Colotti had taped them as well.
Nassau County Police Detective Lt. Richard LeBrun said at a March 27 news conference that Gabler-Colotti admitted at the time of his arrest to taping customers at the salon. He was taken into custody after a female
customer complained to the staff, LeBrun said.
Bouse noted that the alleged confession was not written in Gabler-Colotti’s hand. When police officers arrived at the scene, the attorney added, they seized the Sony recording equipment allegedly used in the taping from a vehicle outside the salon — a vehicle that did not belong to his client, Bouse said.
The new indictment alleges that Gabler-Colotti made a total of 10 videos involving the nine women over a period of two years. The videos were from two to eight minutes in length. Gabler-Colotti is not alleged to have streamed or shared any of the videos.
“He would enter a tanning booth, he would place that video camera on top of the ledge [between booths] and videotape either the victim to the left or the right in the other tanning booth,” LeBrun said. “When you go into these booths, it should basically be like your own bedroom or bathroom, and that level of expectation of privacy was not met at all.”
Gabler-Colotti, who works in the construction business, entered a plea of not guilty. “I know him,” Bouse said. “This is a decent young man, a good young man who went to the studios to get tanned.”
Employees at Beach Bum told the Herald that they had been instructed not to comment on the case. Beach Bum is cooperating with investigators from the NCPD’s Special Victims Unit and with the D.A.’s office and is not considered to have any culpability.