SAN DIEGO — A North County defense attorney was sentenced on Aug. 11 to formal probation and sex offender counseling for secretly filming at least six women and one teenager as they undressed at an Escondido tanning salon last year.
Authorities said David Taylor Kaye, 43, had placed a small video camera between the ceiling and the walls that separated the tanning booths.
Judge Eugenia Eyherabide ordered the defendant to stay away from tanning salons, to not possess pornography or a cell phone camera, and successfully complete a sex-counseling program.
Kaye has a private practice of family law and criminal defense in Carlsbad, and was admitted to the California Bar in 1994 after graduating from UCSD and Thomas Jefferson School of Law, San Diego.
“I think it’s a breech of trust — not just to the women who were directly involved, but really to the community at large,” said Deputy District Attorney Annette Irving.
But she said he received formal probation, which is extremely rare since he was convicted of misdemeanor charges.
She said that all the parties involved agreed that formal probation would be better than just court-monitored probation.
“This person needs oversight,” Irving said. “The type afforded by felony probation.”
Felony, or formal probation, requires that Kaye be assigned a probation officer to investigate and supervise his activities to make sure he is complying with the judge’s orders.
The judge suspended a 180-day jail sentence for Kaye, which means he won’t be required to serve that time unless he violates his probation during the next three years.
A nearly yearlong investigation began after Kaye was seen secretly filming women at a North County salon.
Kaye was arrested on April 19, 2010, and charged with four misdemeanor counts of secretly filming a person. Authorities conducting an additional investigation recovered more evidence on his computers and phones, leading to extra charges, according to Lt. Craig Carter of the Escondido Police Department.
Those charges brought his total charges to include one count of possession of child pornography and one count of having a concealed firearm in a vehicle, three counts of secretly filming a person, four counts of peeking through a private area and one count of destruction or concealment of evidence.
He faced a maximum time of 8-years-2-months in prison if convicted on all the charges, according to Irving.
He remained free since posting bail on $388,000 shortly after his arrest, according to court records.
Irving said she asked the court to reserve restitution in case the minor seeks counseling in the future.
According to the state’s Website, Kaye’s status as a member of the State Bar of California is still active, and no disciplinary action has taken place.
But Jill Sperber, special assistant to the Chief Trial Counsel, said the state couldn’t go ahead with a case until there’s a final sentence.
Then, after the clerk of the court transfers the conviction paperwork to the state, the state bar court determines any discipline proceedings, she said.
“The law says we must look at every convicted attorney and see if they are fit to practice,” Sperber said.