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Prosecutors drop case against former golf range manager

Kitsap County prosecutors dismissed a voyeurism charge earlier this week against the former manager of NW Golf Range accused of videotaping people in the establishment’s restrooms.

Scott Fuchs, 41, was arrested Dec. 7, 2007 after the Bremerton Police Department’s Special Operations Group served a search warrant on his Fairgrounds Road home “in regards to a narcotics purchase that was made with the suspect two days earlier,” according to court documents. While searching Fuchs’ home, they found two cameras, one of which was hidden inside a paper coffee cup and another in a scrunched up paper bag with a hole in it. Bremerton detectives also found a recording device which contained images of a young child removing his undergarments in the restroom.

A Kitsap County Superior Court judge ruled this week that the Bremerton Police detectives’ search warrant for marijuana did not show grounds for searching the cameras and surveillance equipment, according to Kevin Hull, the deputy prosecuting attorney who handled the case.

“(Bremerton Police detectives) went in and the judge found they exceeded the permissible scope of the warrant,” said Thomas Weaver, Fuchs’ defense attorney.

Once Bremerton Police detectives searched Fuchs’ home, Kitsap County Sheriff’s detectives then applied for another warrant for the cameras and surveillance equipment, Weaver said. Since the first warrant was flawed, the second warrant was invalid.

Weaver filed a motion a month or two ago to make the evidence obtained from the search warrants inadmissible in court, but the judge denied the request. Weaver said he appealed that decision and the judge then decided to suppress the evidence.

“Once the evidence is suppressed I can’t use it in trial,” Hull said.

Hull said the prosecutor’s drug unit is reviewing the marijuana case against Fuchs and that case “should go forward.” He added that the prosecutor’s office will likely not appeal the judge’s decision to suppress the evidence.

“We talked about an appeal, but it’s unlikely we would prevail,” Hull said.

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