Former inn owner may cut plea deal

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LEWISTON – The former owner of an Auburn bed and breakfast had been expected in court this morning for a trial in connection with his video surveillance of a bathroom at his inn.

Clinton Zimmerman’s attorney asked that a judge continue the case in anticipation of a plea agreement.

Assistant Androscoggin County District Attorney Patricia Reynolds said her office had offered Zimmerman a plea that was acceptable to the victim. She was not aware whether Zimmerman had agreed to that offer and declined to provide details.

If Zimmerman were to agree to the offer, he likely would sign documents that would be presented to the judge at his next scheduled court date on Oct. 23.

Zimmerman was charged with a class D misdemeanor crime of violation of privacy in April after a guest at Munroe Inn complained that a monitor in the kitchen showed an image of the bathroom in her suite. Police discovered a camera hidden in a clock radio in that guest’s bathroom. Zimmerman had told police he planted the device in a effort to catch an employee who was suspected of breaking objects in the suite.

A class D misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and a fine of up to $2,000.

Under Maine law, “a person is guilty of violation of privacy if that person intentionally installs or uses in a private place without the consent of the person or persons entitled to privacy in that place and device for observing, photographing, recording, amplifying or broadcasting sounds or events in that place.”

Zimmerman’s attorney, Chris L’Hommedieu, told a judge Tuesday morning in 8th District Court that his client had relocated to western New York.

A clerk at Androscoggin County Superior Court said Tuesday a judgment of foreclosure and sale of the inn had been filed in civil court in November.

Records showed the city had lent the couple $125,000 in 2002 to fix up the inn and was named as a party-in-interest. Zimmerman and his wife, who owned the inn together, filed for Chapter 13 bankruptcy last spring, court records showed.

The property had been posted for sale since April 2006. The couple had planned to move back to upstate New York with twin preschoolers to be closer to extended family, they had said.

A phone number listed for the Inn has been disconnected.

The couple opened the inn in May 2000. They converted the 1899 Queen Anne Victorian home into a bed and breakfast, including six suites. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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