Timothy Zak may not have been planning to videotape his naked teenage stepdaughter when he set up a secret camera in the hallway of his then-Joliet home.
But when he caught her coming naked out of the bathroom to get a towel from the closet, he saved the images on his computer, prosecutors said.
The 10-second video clip that was later discovered by his wife will land Zak, 46, in the Will County jail for six months and put him on probation for four years. He also must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.
Zak, who moved out of his family's west side home and over to Wheaton after his wife found the video in August, pleaded guilty in January to possession of child pornography and unlawfully recording a person under the age of 18. He faced up to seven years in prison for the child pornography charge alone.
Zak's attorney, Vincent Cornelius, pointed out that his client had no criminal record of any kind. Zak addressed Will County Judge Gerald Kinney and expressed his sorrow for recording his stepdaughter, who was 17 at the time she was taped.
But, in a letter read in part by Assistant State's Attorney Christopher Messina, Zak's teenage stepdaughter told of the impact the crime has had on her life.
"This defendant has taken my trust, dignity and self-confidence from me because I just don't consider myself pretty anymore," Messina read from the letter.
The teen also wrote how the episode has deprived her of dancing, which she loves to do.
Cornelius said Zak set up the camera in a hallway. The door to the bedroom Zak shared with his wife opened onto the hallway, as did doors to the stepdaughter's bedroom, a bathroom and a closet.
Judge Kinney ordered Zak to surrender in open court June 18 so he can start his sentence.
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