STAUNTON — As far as first attempts at parenting go, things didn't go so well recently for a Staunton man.
Police arrested Russell C. Bayne III, 38, in October after he was accused of trying to videotape a 15-year-old foster child in a state of undress while she lived at his home on Belmore Avenue.
In a plea agreement with the Staunton prosecutor's office, on Tuesday in Staunton Circuit Court Bayne received no prison time after pleading guilty to a felony charge of attempting to film a minor without consent.
The case was taken under advisement for two years. Following the two-year period, the charge will be reduced to a misdemeanor if Bayne doesn't run afoul of the law.
In court Tuesday, assistant prosecutor Anne Reed said the 15-year-old girl began living with the Bayne and his wife in March 2010.
"This was their first time serving as foster parents," Reed said of the childless couple.
Reed said the girl was given chores with one of them being to clean the family's upstairs bathroom, the only one in the house that was used. While cleaning the bathroom in September, the teen found a digital camera that Bayne had showed her months before. On the camera were two short videos, one that showed Bayne adjusting the angle of the camera while in the bathroom.
Because of the angle of the video that was shot, the girl determined the camera had been hidden in a piece of fabric hanging on the inside of the bathroom door. The fabric also had a small hole for the lens, Reed said.
On Sept. 15 the girl spoke to a school official at Robert E. Lee High School about the camera, and the Staunton Police Department was immediately notified.
After obtaining a search warrant, Staunton police searched Bayne's Belmore home where they found the camera in the living room. Bayne told police he and his wife were concerned about the teen's boyfriend visiting the house when they weren't around, and said they decided to secretly tape the couple. His wife, however, denied taking part in the plan.
As part of Bayne's guilty plea, he cannot have contact with the victim and can't have unsupervised contact with a minor. He also must perform 50 hours of community service.
Reed said the teen agreed with the plea deal, stating she felt that Bayne exhibited "extremely misguided parental decisions."