2016-09-15 / Courts

Photo-taker waives exam; charged with two felonies

A 30-year-old Bingham Township man who is accused of taking ‘upskirt’ pictures and videos of women in the Suttons Bay grocery store where he worked waived his preliminary exam on Tuesday and was bound over for trial.

Brandan J. Sawyer, of 4805 Boone Aire Dr., pleaded not guilty at his 13th Circuit Court arraignment, also held Tuesday, to felony charges of using a computer to commit a crime and capturing/ distributing images of an unclothed person.

Sawyer remains free on a 10 percent, $10,000 bond.

Sawyer was arrested in August after a woman told Leelanau County deputies that he had held a camera under her skirt and taken a photo while she was shopping at Hansen Foods, according to a court report. Sawyer admitted to using his cell phone to take a photo of the woman, the report said.

Since then, investigators have allegedly found pictures of several more women on his cell phone, including of a woman in a bathroom at a home in the county.

Sawyer has been fired from his job at Hansen’s, according to a press release from Ronald “Gus” O’Brien sent to the Enterprise last week.

Using a computer to commit a crime is a seven-year felony; capturing/distributing an image of an unclothed person is a five-year felony.

Sawyer is being represented by William G. Burdette of Traverse City. A preliminary examination on the charges has been set for Sept. 20.

Return to top