Home News Madison County judge calls video voyeurism, "a despicable act"

Madison County judge calls video voyeurism, “a despicable act”

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Article written by Sydney Jensen and Victoria Owens

 

A former BYU-Idaho student is back in jail after Madison County Judge Gregory Moeller sentenced him for charges of felony video voyeurism.

Nine people gathered in the spare, empty courtroom for a word of prayer just minutes before Devan MacCabe had been asked to report to court for his sentencing, asking for the demands of justice to be met while exercising mercy at the same time.

“He’s shaking in his shoes,” Jim Archibald, Devan MacCabe’s defense attorney, told the court prior to his sentencing.

The sentencing had been in the works since April when Devan MacCabe pled guilty to placing a hidden camera in his fiancee’s apartment bathroom.

“I’ve hurt a lot of people,” Devan MacCabe told the courts. “I’ve shocked a lot more.”

Defense attorney Jim Archibald said people who know Devan MacCabe, including former LDS mission companions, his mission presidents and other friends, submitted 24 letters for good character references. As the court proceedings began, Archibald submitted two more character references from medical professionals in Utah.

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“I can’t help but agree with Mr. Wood (prosecuting attorney),” Devan MacCabe said. “I was lying to the victims and the detectives.”

Devan MacCabe then proceeded to reference a list of good character demonstrations, including his rank as Eagle Scout, graduating from high school, serving a full-time LDS mission in New York and even starting his own piano tuning business following his release from jail to help pay for fees and fines from the courts.

Devan MacCabe said he’s been attending addiction recovery meetings, sometimes multiple times a week along with proactively meeting with therapists before the court’s sentencing which often includes mandated treatment.

“I’ve been trying to right this problem as much as possible,” Devan MacCabe said. “I’ve dishonored my family and I’ve caused a lot of pain and moving forward I just hope I’ll be able to do something about it to make a difference.

[/et_pb_text][/et_pb_column][et_pb_column type=”1_2″][et_pb_audio admin_label=”Audio” background_layout=”light” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid” audio=”https://byuicomm.org/byuiscroll/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2017/06/DR0000_0388_01.mp3″ title=”Devan MacCabe Testifies in Court” image_url=”https://byuicomm.org/byuiscroll/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2017/06/IMG_0061.jpg”] [/et_pb_audio][/et_pb_column][/et_pb_row][et_pb_row admin_label=”Row”][et_pb_column type=”4_4″][et_pb_text admin_label=”Text” background_layout=”light” text_orientation=”left” use_border_color=”off” border_color=”#ffffff” border_style=”solid”]

Judge Moeller said that Devan MacCabe’s accomplishments highlight his alleged double life.

“It appears you’ve been living a double life,” Judge Moeller told MacCabe. “I firmly believe that every young woman in that apartment were victims in one way or another…you can only imagine, at least I hope you can imagine, I hope you’re capable of imagining how all six of those girls might feel.”

Judge Moeller said Devan MacCabe’s claims that the crime was just “a slip-up,” and was “not planned,” were not true.

“This is a despicable act.” Judge Moeller said. “You obviously had to install them well in advance…you bought this equipment online, you surreptitiously planted it, you waited, waited and waited for when you could get it, you got it, you watched it and used it for perversive ways to pleasure yourself…I don’t think this was a one-time slip up.

 

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Devan MacCabe, Judge Moeller said quoting a report, “portrayed himself in an unrealistically virtuous manner.”

Despite the horrific nature of the crime, Judge Moeller said the pre-sentencing investigation revealed Devan MacCabe has an extremely low risk of reoffending and also has many positive character attributes that speak to his ability to learn from and overcome the crime.

“You’re described as being energetic, ambitious and exuding optimism,” Judge Moeller said. “You’re kind of a people pleaser…reports show you have a very high IQ, scoring in the 98th percentile,” before adding, “which would suggest certainly you should know better and also suggests you have the ability to use that intelligence not always for good things.”

Judge Moeller said the letters sent in Devan MacCabe’s behalf better represent his reputation instead of his character. Character, Judge Moeller said, is better defined as how one acts when no one is looking.

“I don’t believe character is what people think of us, that’s our reputation,” Judge Moeller said. “Character is how we act when we think nobody is watching. Character’s who we really are and we know, sir, how you act when nobody is watching and we know now sir what you’re capable of when nobody is watching…they have not seen your true character that many of us now are aware of.”

Judge Moeller added character can be changed and improved, “but it is what it is at this point in your life.”

The sentence of five years in prison, the maximum allowed in the state of Idaho for the charge, with a suspended sentence of five years probation and 60 days in jail with 10 days credit for time already served gives MacCabe the best chance of changing his character and improving his life, Judge Moeller said.

But, the sentence Judge Moeller issued was more stringent than either the defense or prosecution had recommended.

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Judge Moeller said the law does not allow him to force Devan MacCabe to register as a sex offender.

“The defendant will not be required to register as a sex offender under Idaho Code 188307, because of the way this case was charged, I cannot require it,” Judge Moeller said. “But, I want the record to be clear that if I could order it I would because I do think it would be proper in this case. The court is bound to follow the law.”

Judge Moeller closed the hearing with Deven to be immediately remanded to the custody of the Madison County Sheriff Office to commence execution of the sentence.

Hands shaking, Devan removed his watch, stood up, loosened his tie with a few short tugs and handed his belongings to his father, Brett MacCabe.

Before the court room was cleared out of Devan’s family and friends, Devan was allowed a few moments to speak with his parents.

With tears in his eyes, Devan talked to his mom and dad for one last moment before he was placed back in custody.

“We were prepared for whatever the judge was ready to say,” said Brett MacCabe. “I’m not a believer in removing the consequences of my son’s actions. We were willing to accept whatever the judge deemed was appropriate…he understands the needs not only for my son, but for society.”

 

 

 

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